Free Essays

What, in your opinion, are the causes of the obesity ‘epidemic’ in the UK?


The aim of this essay was to explore the causes of the obesity epidemic in the UK. The prevalence of obesity among children and adults has reached epidemic proportions over the past two decades and is a major public health concern in the UK. The causes of the obesity epidemic are complex and include environmental, behavioral and physiological factors. These factors influence the balance of energy intake and expenditure. It is crucial for the scientific and policy-making government as well as the public to understand the multidimensional factors, which influence obesity in order to implement the actions needed to reverse the epidemic.

1. Introduction

Obesity has been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2012) as “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health”. The most frequently used measure of obesity and health is based on the body mass index (BMI), which is a single number that evaluates an individual’s weight in relation to height. Adults with a BMI of >30 kg/m2 are considered obese and those with a BMI equal to or more than 25 kg/m2 are overweight. Obesity increases the risk of a number of chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancers (Kopelman, 2007) and therefore is a major public health concern.

2. Overview of the obesity epidemic

In the UK, the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled in the past 20 years (OECD Health Data, 2011). The latest Health Survey for England (HSE, 2010) figures show that 37.3% of adults (aged 16 or over) are overweight and a further 24.5% obese. The prevalence of obesity in children aged 2-10 is similarly alarming by increasing from 10.1% in 1995 to 14.6% in 2010. Recently reported modelling indicates that by 2025 some 40% of the British population could be obese (Foresight, 2007).

Because the physiological and psychological consequences of obesity can lead to increased morbidity and mortality, researcher, clinicians and government policymakers have explored a number of different causes that may explain the obesity epidemic. Understanding the causes of obesity has important implications for the actions that are needed to tackle and reverse the epidemic.

3. Causes of the obesity epidemic

In simple terms, the cause of obesity is an imbalance of energy intake and energy expenditure for a period of time, leading to an accumulation of excessive body fat. This energy imbalance is determined by the complex interactions of biology and behavior, set within a cultural, environmental and social framework. An obesity system map (Figure 1) was constructed by Vandenbroeck et al. in 2007 from data from several different research disciplines to represent the most comprehensive view of the determinants of energy balance.

Figure 1: A simplified version of the obesity system map (Source: Foresight systems map, 2007)

Although the causes for the obesity epidemic are complex and multifaceted, research evidence has identified changes in two main areas of our lifestyles that have driven the obesity epidemic. The first is the level of physical activity in the population (energy expenditure). People are spending more time indoors in front of the computer and TVs and less time outside running around. The second is the quantity and different food types we consume (energy intake). People consume more energy-dense food and eat fewer healthy foods. Both areas of this complex system are greatly influenced by psychosocial factors and the environment in which we live and work.

3.1. Energy expenditure

Research has shown that physical activity undertaken in the workplace and in the home has declined significantly in the UK over the past 30 years (Foresight, 2007). For example, in England, the average distance walked and cycled per person per year for transport purposes fell nearly by half in the time period from 1975 to 2003 (Foresight, 2007). The proportion of the population in an occupation requiring substantial physical effort has also reduced (Lobstein and Jackson, 2007). In addition, we are increasingly becoming reliant on work saving devices from washing machines to cars. For example, car use has risen steadily over the past 30 years, which was accompanied by changes in land use patterns to accommodate increased car use (Davis, 2007). Sheldon H Jacobson, a researcher who specializes in statistics and data analysis states in 2011 that the surge in passenger vehicle usage in the US between the 1950 and today correlates with surging levels of obesity. Data from the UK may find a similar association.

In the home, physical activity has been displaced by the availability and attractiveness of more sedentary activities such as television and computer games (Pereira, 2005; Biddle, 2010). Evidence suggests that television viewing is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic (Hancox et al., 2004; Viner, 2005; Rey-Lopez et al., 2011). This contribution arises from a combination of sedentary behavior, unhealthy mindless eating habits (Temple et al., 2007) and exposure to TV advertising for palatable, highly processed, energy dense foods (Cairns, 2008; Boyland et al., 2011).

Over extended periods, this decrease in physical activity can make a substantial difference to the energy balance (positive energy balance), which results in weight gain.

3.2. Energy intake

The hypothesis that people are eating more in their daily life is problematic to measure outside the laboratory and is greatly confounded by under-reporting by obese subjects. However, data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs study (DEFRA, 2011) suggests that energy intake from food and drink in the UK population has been declining since the 1980 (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Trends in average energy intake from food and drink in 2009 (Source: Family Food in 2009, DEFRA

This is paradoxical, given that this is the period that has seen the most rapid increase in the prevalence of obesity. However, it has been shown that the type of food has changed. The consumption of cheap fast food and energy-dense food high in fat and/or sugar has increased (Stubbs et al., 1995), whilst more expensive healthy food such as fruit and vegetables has declined. Therefore it is the obligation of policy makers and businesses to ensure that healthy foods are readily available and promoted at affordable prices. This is an essential long term and large-scale commitment to reverse the obesity epidemic.

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, it appears that the coupling between energy intake and energy expenditure is at the heart of the obesity epidemic, both of which are greatly influenced by psychosocial factors and the environment in which we live and work. Currently the evidence points to changes in the level of physical activity and food system, which is producing more processed, affordable, and effectively marketed high-energy food. These changes in my opinion have lead to a positive energy balance causing the obesity epidemic. Policies that encourage and promote physical activities and a change towards healthier food are needed to reverse the epidemic.

5. References

Biddle, S., Cavill, N., Ekelund, U., et al. (2010) Sedentary Behaviour and Obesity: Review of the Current Scientific Evidence: Department of Health.

Boyland, E.J., Harrold, J.A., Kirkham, T.C., Corker, C., Cuddy, J., Evans, D. (2011) Food commercials increase preference for ?energy-dense foods, particularly in children who watch more television. Pediatrics, 128(1): 93-100.

Cairns, G., Angus, K., Hastings, G. (2008) The extent, nature and effects of food promotion to children: a review of the evidence to?December 2008. Prepared for the World Health Organization. Geneva: Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling ?& The Open University, United Kingdom, 2009.

Davis, A., Fergusson, M. and Valsecchi, C. (2007) Linked Crises on the Road to Obesity: Assessing and Explaining the Contribution of Increased Car Travel to UK Obesity and Climate Crises. London: Institute for European Environmental Policy.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (2011) Food statistics Pocketbook.

Foresight (2007) Tackling Obesities: Future Choices, Project Final Report

Hancox, R.J., Milne, B.J., Poulton, R. (2004) Association between child and adolescent television viewing and adult health: a longitudinal birth cohort study. Lancet, 364: 257-62.

Kopelman, P. (2007) Health risk associated with Overweight and Obesity. Obesity reviews 8 (Suppl.1), 13-17.

Lobstein, T. and Jackson Leach, R. (2007) International Comparisons of Obesity Trends, Determinants and Responses. Evidence Review. Foresight Tackling Obesities: Future Choices.

National Statistics. 2010. Health Survey for England (HSE).

OECD Health at a Glance 2011.

Pereira, M.A., Kartashov, A.I., Ebbeling, C.B. (2005) Fast-food habits, weight gain, and insulin resistance (the CARDIA study): 15-year prospective analysis. Lancet, 365: 36-42.

Rey-Lopez, J.P., Vicente-Rodriguez, G., Repasy, J., Mesana, M.I., Ruiz, J.R., Ortega, F.B., et al. (2011) Food and drink intake during ?television viewing in adolescents: the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence (HELENA) study. Public?Health Nutrition, 14(9): 1563-9.

Sheldon H Jacobson (5/11/2011) News Bureau, Illinois

Stubbs, R.J. et al. (1995) Covert manipulation of dietary fat and energy density: effect on substrate flux and food intake in men eating ad libitum. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 62, 316–329.

Temple, J.L., Giacomelli, A.M., Kent, K.M., Roemmich, J.N., Epstein, L.H. (2007) Television watching increases motivated responding for?food and energy intake in children. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 85 (2): 355-61.

Vandenbroeck, I. P., Goossens, J. and Clemens, M. (2007) Building the Obesity System Map. Foresight Tackling Obesities: Future Choices.

Viner, R.M., Cole, T.J. (2005) Television viewing in early childhood predicts adult body mass index. J Pediatrics, 147(4): 429-35.

World Health Organisation (May 2012) Fact sheet No 311: Obesity and overweight.

Free Essays

Obesity is an increasing global health problem, and one of the leading preventable causes of death


Obesity is an increasing global health problem, and one of the leading preventable causes of death. The definition of obesity taken from the NHS website is; Obesity is when a person is carrying too much body fat for their height and sex. A person is considered obese if they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater . The main problem here is that there is numerous health problems linked to obesity, therefore if Obesity is helped and reduced, it would be like solving the root to the numerous health problems it is linked to. In other words instead of tackling the health problems that are caused by obesity, you tackle obesity itself which would then in theory lead to a general decrease in obesity related health problems. This will not only be beneficial to the patients, but in this current economic climate will save the medical sector money that they would use on treating obesity related health problems.

Obesity is a medical condition in which an excess amount of body fat has accumulated within the body to an extent that it may have a harmful affect on health. This can in turn lead to reduced life expectancy and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The main problem here is that obesity increases the risk of many physical and mental conditions however regardless of this it is increasing and needs to be tackled. The main cause of obesity is a combination of excess food energy intake and a lack of any physical activity however there are cases when the cause is due primarily to genetics, medical reasons or psychiatric illness. In contrast increasing rates of societal level obesity is thought to be due to an easily accessible and palatable diet, increased reliance on vehicles and mechanized manufacturing.

There are three main ways obesity is being tackled, and it is these three solutions that I am going to focus on in my study.; Diet, Surgery and Drugs. The main solution I will focus on will be surgery.

Diet – Alternative to Surgery

The classic approach to tackle obesity is a low-calorie diet; this still remains the core treatment of obesity.

These diets have the best short-term benefits.

There are three types of low-calorie diets that can be distinguished:

Personalized and moderately restricted diet: This is dependant on a pre-therapeutic assessment. This diet takes into consideration the daily energy expenditure of each individual including their professional and family environment and their food habits. The desired level of caloric intake will equal to two thirds of the average energy expenditure; 1200 – 2000 calories per day.
Low-calorie diet: Total caloric intake averages 800 – 1200 calories per day. This is a considerable reduction in the individuals daily intake and can not be maintained for a long period of time as the patient’s physical activity is hindered and the body is faced with nutritional deficiencies. This ambitious treatment is proposed during hospitalization.
Very low-calorie diet: This is a less than 800 calorie per day diet also known as a protein diet. The medical follow up to this must be very accurate.

Cutting off the usual supply of calories the body gets causes the body to break down fat in order to supply itself with energy thus causing the patient to lose body weight. This dietary treatment is effective for short term benefits however requires a lot of dedication on the patient’s behalf.


A laparoscopic adjustable gastric band also known as a lap band is an inflatable device made of silicone that is placed at the top of the patients stomach through laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery also known as Keyhole surgery is a modern technique of surgery in which operations that take place in the abdomen are carried out through small incisions, usually measuring from 0.5-1.5cm. This type of surgery uses images displayed on a monitor which can be magnified. Keyhole surgery is a very beneficial and efficient procedure as the patient feels less

pain and discomfort and recovery time is considerably reduced.

Gastric banding is the least invasive surgery of its kind however it carries the usual risks of any gastrointestinal surgical operation. The patient’s intestines are not re-routed as the stomach is not staples or removed therefore the patient is able to absorb nutrients from food in a normal procedure. Gastric bands are able to stay without causing harm in the patient’s body as they are made entirely of biocompatible materials.

They way this procedure works is that the gastric band is placed on the top portion of the stomach using keyhole surgery. The placement of the band creates a small pouch at the top portion of the stomach. This pouch approximately holds about half a cup of food, in contrast to its normal six cups of food. The pouch fills up quickly; this is where the band comes into effect. The band causes food to pass slowly from the pouch into the lower part of the patient’s stomach. As the upper part of the stomach fills the brain is sent a message that the stomach is full therefore the patient’s hunger dies. This causes the patient to eat a reduced amount of food and stay full for a longer period of time thus decreasing overall caloric intake which can lead to a decrease in weight over time. As the patient starts losing weight the gastric band will need to be adjusted to ensure effectiveness and improve comfort. It is adjusted using a saline solution introduced through a small access port placed underneath the skin. To avoid damage to the port membrane and prevent leakage a specialized non-coring needle is used.

This graph has been taken from and gives an overall idea of the extent to which a gastric band can help weight loss.

According to the study participants who had a gastric band lost 22% of their body weight in two years in contrast to the controls who in which only lost just 6%. This resulted in the ‘gastric band group’ to be healthier and happier.

This is one proof of evidence that shows that this type of solution to tackle obesity is highly effective.

I do not believe taking drugs alone such as AMPHETAMINES is effective as there are many side effects and there have been many cases where patients have become addicted and dependant on the drug itself therefore I do not look at this as a solution personally.

Gastric Banding I believe is the most appropriate as it shows and has been proven to considerably decrease body weight and help obesity. And being a laparoscopic surgery rather than open it has its many advantages;

Reduced chance of needing blood transfusion as haemorrhaging is reduced.
Small incisions are used which reduce pain and discomfort to the patient. In addition recovery time is reduced along with less post-operative scarring
Less pain due to small incisions also means that less pain medication is needed
Procedure times are slightly longer however, hospital stay time is less often same day discharge. So patient can be back to everyday life more quickly and efficiently.
Exposure of organs is reduced due to small incisions therefore chances of contamination and disease are reduced.

However it does come with its disadvantages;

Due to the small incisions the doctor has a limited range of motion at the surgical site. Dexterity is lost.
Poor depth perception
Tissue can be damaged due to tools being used rather than hands.

However I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages so keyhole surgery is a effective and efficient solution.

However I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages so keyhole surgery is a effective and efficient solution.

There are many risks that come with this type of surgery as with any type of surgical operation.

The biggest risk is from an instrument called a trocar. Injuries are caused to either blood vessels or small or large bowel. This risk is increased with patients that have a history of prior abdominal surgery.

Benefits of gastric banding compared to other bariatric surgeries.

There are many benefits of gastric banding compared to other bariatric surgeries. Mortality rates are considerably lower; 1 in 2000. Due to small incisions, keyhole surgery recovery times are very short along with a short hospital stay. These benefits can make the surgery greatly appeal to the patient as along with losing weight, the pain and overall time is small.


[1.5] Google images.

[2.5] Wikipedia. AS Biology CGP Revision Guide. – overall knowledge

[3.5] Dr Patrick Jordan .










Free Essays

Applying Models of Health Promotion to Improve Effectiveness of Pharmacist-Led Campaign in Reducing Obesity in Socioeconomically Deprived Areas


This essay aims to determine how different models of health promotion can be used to improve effectiveness of pharmacist-led campaign in reducing obesity in socioeconomically deprived areas. The health belief, changes of stage and ecological approaches models are some models discussed in this brief. These models are suggested to be effective in underpinning pharmacist-led campaigns for obesity in the community. This essay also discusses the impact of obesity on individuals and the community and its prevalence in socio-economically deprived groups. Challenges associated with uptake of healthy behaviour are discussed along with possible interventions for obesity. It is suggested that a multi-faceted, community based intervention will likely lead to a successful campaign against obesity.


Blenkinsopp et al. (2000) explain that health promotion is aimed at maintaining and enhancing good health in order to prevent ill health. Health promotion encompasses different issues and activities that influence the health outcomes of individuals and society. Health promotion involves the creation and implementation of health and social care policies that are deemed to prevent diseases and promote the physical, social and mental health of the people. Blenkinsopp et al. (2000) observe that pharmacists are perceived to have crucial roles as health promoters in the community. Since health promotion incorporates a range of actions that are aimed in promoting health, it is essential to understand the role of pharmacists in promoting health. In this essay, a focus is made on health promotion for individuals suffering from obesity in socioeconomically deprived areas. A discussion on the different models of health promotion will also be done. The first part of this brief discusses models of health promotion while the second part critically analyses how these models can be used to underpin pharmacist-led campaigns in reducing obesity. The last part of this essay will summarise the key points raised in this essay.

Models of Health Promotion

Blenkinsopp et al. (2003) argue that, in the past, perspectives of pharmacists on ill-health takes the biomedical model approach to health. This model considers ill health as a biomedical problem (Goodson, 2009) and hence, technologies and medicines are used to cure the disease. Pharmacists are regarded as ‘experts’ in terms of their knowledge on a health condition and its cure. Hence, when the biomedical model is used, pharmacists’ response to a health-related query likely takes the disease-oriented approach to medical treatment and referral. This approach limits the care and interventions for the patients. Bond (2000) observes that while not necessarily inappropriate for pharmacy practice, the biomedical approach results to ‘medicalisation’ of health.

This means that health and illness are both determined biologically. It should be noted that the primary function of pharmacists is to dispense medications. Hence, when making health-related advice to patients, this often involves information on medications appropriate to the health conditions of the patient. However, the role of pharmacists in providing medicines has expanded to include advice on the therapeutic uses of medications and information on how to maintain optimal health (Levin et al., 2008). Taylor et al. (2004) also reiterates that pharmacists are beginning to promote health through patient education that supports positive behaviour and actions related to health.

This new approach is consistent with health models for individuals such as health belief model and stages of change. The health belief model teaches that individuals have to acknowledge the perceived threat and severity of the disease and how positive health behaviour can give them benefits (Naidoo and Wills, 2009). The benefits of the new behaviour should outweigh perceived barriers to the physical activity behaviours (Naidoo and Wills, 2009). This model requires that individuals have cues to action to help them adapt a new behaviour and gain self-efficacy. The latter is important since individuals suffering from chronic conditions need to develop self-efficacy to help them manage their condition and prevent complications (Lubkin and Larsen, 2011). It is well established that obesity, as a chronic condition, is a risk factor for development of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, orthopaedic abnormalities and some form of cancer (Department of Health, 2009). When individuals receive sufficient patient education on obesity and the risks associated with this condition, it is believed that they will take actions to manage the condition.

While the health belief model has gained success in helping individuals take positive actions regarding their health, Naidoo and Wills (2009) emphasises that patient education alone or informing them on the severity and their susceptibility of the disease may not be sufficient in changing or sustaining behaviour. Although individuals are informed on the benefits of the health behaviour, there is still a need to consider how environmental factors help shape health behaviour. It should be considered that obesity is a multifactorial problem and environmental factors play crucial roles in its development.

Public Health England (2014) notes that in the last 25 years, the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled. This rapid increase in overweight and obesity prevalence shows that in 2010, only 30.9% of the men in the UK have basal metabolic index (BMI) within the healthy range (Public Health England, 2014). In contrast, the proportion of men with healthy BMI in 1993 was 41.0%. Amongst women, proportion of women with healthy BMI in 1993 was 49.5% but this dropped to 40.5% in 2010. It has been shown that almost a third or 26.1% of UK’s population is obese. If current trends are not addressed, it is projected that by 2050, 60% of adults will be obese (Public Health England, 2014). The effects of obesity are well established not only on the health of individuals but also on the cost of care and management of complications arising from this condition (Public Health England).

Managing obesity at the individual level is necessary to help individuals adopt a healthier lifestyle. It has been shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (Department of Health, 2011) and engagement in structured physical activities (De Silva-Sanigorski, 2011) improve health outcomes of obese or overweight individuals. The stages of change model (Goodson, 2009) could be used to promote health amongst this group. This model states that adoption of healthy behaviours such as engagement in regular physical activity or consumption of healthier food requires eliminating unhealthy ones. The readiness of an individual is crucial on whether people will progress through the five levels of stage of change model. These levels include pre-contemplation, contemplation followed by preparation, action and maintenance (Goodson, 2009). Different strategies are suggested for each level to assist an individual progress to the succeeding stage.

It has been shown that prevalence of obesity is highest amongst those living in deprived areas in the UK and those with low socio-economic status (Department of Health, 2010, 2009). Families with ethnic minority origins are also at increased risk of obesity compared to the general white population in the country (Department of Health, 2010, 2009). This presents a challenge for healthcare practitioners since individuals living in poverty belong to the vulnerable groups (Lubkin and Larsen, 2011). It is suggested that development of obesity amongst this group could be related to their diet. Energy-dense food is cheaper compared to the recommended fruits and vegetables. In recent years, the Department of Health (2011) has promoted consumption of 5 different types of fruits and vegetables each day. However, the cost of maintaining this type of diet is high when compared to buying energy-dense food. The problem of obesity also has the greatest impact on children from low-income families. Research by Jones et al. (2010) has shown a strong link between exposures to commercials of junk foods with poor eating habits. It is noteworthy that many children in low-income families are exposed to long hours of television compared to children born to more affluent families (Adams et al., 2012).

The multi-factorial nature of obesity suggests that management of this condition should also take a holistic approach and should not only be limited to health promotion models designed to promote individual health. Hence, identifying different models appropriate for communities would also be necessary to address obesity amongst socio-economically deprived families. One of models that also address factors present in the community or environment of the individual is the ecological approaches model (Goodson, 2009). Family, workplace, community, economics, beliefs and traditions and the social and physical environments all influence the health of an individual (Naidoo and Wills, 2009). The levels of influence in the ecological approaches model are described as intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, community and public policy. Addressing obesity amongst socio-economically deprived individuals through the ecological approaches model will ensure that each level of influence is recognised and addressed.

Pharmacist-led Campaigns in Reducing Obesity

The health belief, stages of change and the ecological approaches models can all be used to underpin pharmacist-led campaigns in reducing obesity for communities that are socio-economically deprived. Blenkinsopp et al. (2003) state that community pharmacists have a pivotal role in articulating the needs of individuals with specific health conditions in their communities. Pharmacists can lobby at local and national levels and act as supporters of local groups who work for health improvement. However, the work of the pharmacists can also be influenced by their own beliefs, perceptions and practices. Blenkinsopp et al. (2003) emphasise that when working in communities with deprived individuals, the pharmacists should also consider how their own socioeconomic status influence the type of care they provide to the service users. They should also consider whether differences in socio-economic status have an impact on the care received the patients. There should also be a consideration if there are differences in the culture, educational level and vocabulary of service users and pharmacists. Differences might influence the quality of care received by the patients; for instance, differences in culture could easily lead to miscommunication and poor quality of care (Taylor et al., 2004).

Bond (2000) expresses the need for pharmacists to examine the needs of each service user and how they can empower individuals to seek for healthcare services and meet their own needs. In community settings, it is essential to increase the self-efficacy of service users. Self-efficacy is described as the belief of an individual that they are capable of attaining specific goals through modifying their behaviour and adopting specific behaviours (Lubkin and Larsen, 2011). In relation to addressing obesity amongst socio-economically deprived individuals, pharmacists can use the different models to help individuals identify their needs and allow them to gain self-efficacy. For example, pharmacists can use the health belief model to educate individuals on the consequences of obesity. On the other hand, the stages of change model can be utilised to help individuals changed their eating behaviour and improve their physical activities.

Uptake of behaviours such as healthy eating and increasing physical activities are not always optimal despite concerted efforts of communities and policymakers (Reilly et al., 2006). It is suggested that changing one’s behaviour require holistic and multifaceted interventions aimed at increasing self-efficacy of families and allowing them to take positive actions (Naidoo and Wills, 2009). There is evidence (Tucker et al., 2006; Barkin et al., 2012; Davison et al., 2013; Zhou et al., 2014) that multifaceted community-based interventions aimed at families are more likely to improve behaviour and reduce incidence of obesity than single interventions. Community-based interventions can be supported with the ecological approaches model. This model recognises that one’s family, community, the environment, policies and other environment-related factors influence the health of the individuals. To date, the Department of Health (2010) through its Healthy Lives, Healthy People policy reiterates the importance of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle to prevent obesity. This policy allows local communities to take responsibility and be accountable for the health of its community members.

Pharmacists are not only limited to dispensing advice on medications for obesity but to also facilitate a healthier lifestyle. This could be done through collaboration with other healthcare professionals in the community (Goodson, 2009). A multidisciplinary approach to health has been suggested to be effective in promoting positive health outcomes of service users (Zhou et al., 2014). As discussed in this essay, pharmacists can facilitate the access of service users to activities and programmes designed to prevent obesity amongst members in the community. Finally, pharmacists have integral roles in health promotion and are not limited to dispensing medications or provide counselling on pharmacologic therapies. Their roles have expanded to include providing patients with holistic interventions and facilitating uptake of health and social care services designed to manage and prevent obesity in socio-economically deprived individuals.


In conclusion, pharmacists can use the different health promotion models to address obesity amongst individuals with lower socioeconomic status. The use of these models will help pharmacists provide holistic interventions to this group and address their individual needs. The different health promotion models discussed in this essay shows that it is crucial to allow service users gain self-efficacy. This will empower them to take positive actions regarding their health. Finally, it is suggested that a multi-faceted, community based intervention will likely lead to a successful campaign against obesity.


Adams, J., Tyrrell, R., Adamson, A. & White, M. (2012). Socio-economic differences in exposure to television food advertisements in the UK: a cross-sectional study of advertisements broadcast in one television region. Public Health Nutrition, 15(3), 487-494.

Barkin, S., Gesell, S., Poe, E., Escarfuller, J. & Tempesti, T. (2012). Culturally tailored, family-centred, behavioural obesity intervention for Latino-American Preschool-aged children. Pediatrics, 130(3), 445-456.

Blenkisopp, A., Panton, R. & Anderson, C. (2000). Health Promotion for Pharmacists, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Blenkisopp, A., Andersen, C. & Panton, R. (2003). Promoting Health. In: K. Taylor & G. Harding (Eds.), Pharmacy Practice (pp. 135-147). London: CRC Press.

Bond, C. (2000). An introduction to pharmacy practice. In: C. Bond (ed.), Evidence-based pharmacy (pp. 1-21). London: Pharmaceutical Press.

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De Silva-Sanigorski, A. (2011). Obesity prevention in the family day care setting: impact of the Romp & Chomp intervention on opportunities for children’s physical activity and healthy eating. Child Care, Health and Development, 37(3), 385-393.

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Department of Health (2011). The Eatwell Plate. London: Department of Health.

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Jones, S., Mannino, N. & Green, J. (2010). Like me, want me, buy me, eat me’: relationship-building marketing communications in children’s magazines. Public Health and Nutrition, 13(12), 2111-2118.

Lubkin, I. & Larsen, P. (2011). Chronic illness: impact and intervention. London: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

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Tucker, P., Irwin, J., Sangster Bouck, L., He, M. & Pollett, G. (2006). Preventing paediatric obesity; recommendations from a community-based qualitative investigation. Obesity Review, 7(3), 251-260.

Zhou, Z., Ren, H., Yin, Z., Wang, L. & Wang, K. (2014). A policy-driven multifaceted approach for the early childhood physical fitness promotion: impacts on body composition and physical fitness in young Chinese children. BMC Pediatrics, 14: 118 Retrieved November 21, 2014 from

Free Essays

Midtermquestion obesity

Generally, much of the blame for obesity’s widespread existence in Western society is placed upon poor lifestyle. In the case of the former, the increasing pervasiveness of a sedentary lifestyle, characterized by long periods of inactivity (such as sitting in an office) with little to no exercise, in addition to a decreasing amount of leisure time being spent on physical activity, as opposed to video games and television viewing. (Bleich, et. al., 2007)

In the case of the latter, over-eating remains a problem, despite advances in nutritional awareness. Additionally, the increasing reliance on fast-food meals, with their energy dense composition, have quadrupled the calorie intake of the average American over the period between 1977 and 1995.  (Lin, et. al., 1999)

Genetics also play a part in the development of obesity. Excess calorie intake and how it translates into body mass is affected by various factors such as the genes which regulate metabolism, appetite and adipokine. Additionally, there are various genetic conditions that have been identified as symptomatized by obesity (e.g. Bardet-Biedl syndrome, leptin receptor mutations and MOMO syndrome). Farooqi & O’Rahilly (2006) have also noted that obesity has a hereditary component.

Chakravarthy & Booth (2004) have also theorized that certain ethnicities may be more prone to obesity, as an evolutionary means of taking advantage of abundance in between long periods of food scarcity. As such, the genetic disposition towards obesity is an advantage in surviving famine, but a maladaptive trait in a society with food stability.

Obesity may also be affected by medical illnesses such as Cushing’s syndrome, growth hormone deficiency and hypothyroidism. The treatment of some illnesses may also lead to fluctuations in weight, as a side effect of medication taken (e.g. antipsychotics, fertility meds). Quitting smoking has also been recognized as a cause of moderate weight gain, due to the resulting loss of appetite suppression. Also, some psychological disorders such as bulimia or binge disorders contribute direct risks of obesity.

The mechanisms of neurobiology also contribute to the development of obesity. In addition to leptin (which regulates the intake and expenditure of energy) substances such as ghrelin (which regulates short-term appetite) are linked with the maintenance of obesity. (Flier, 2004). Other such substances include adiponectin which regulates glucose, cholecystokinin which stimulates the digestion of fat and protein, and PYY 3-36 which responds to food intake by reducing appetite.

Finally, social determinants contribute to obesity by significantly affecting the habits formed that contribute to obesity. In a 2004 study, it was noted that there was an inverse correlation between wealth and obesity, suggesting that lower income individuals rely on cheaper fast food for nourishment. (Zagorsky, 2004). Also, a 2007 study followed more than 32,500 individuals over a span of 32 years and found that changes in body mass of friends, and siblings were reliable predictors of changes in subjects, regardless of geographical distance, suggesting that the acceptance of one’s body mass has an influence on changes in body size. (Christakis & Fowler, 2007)

Bleich, S., Cutler, D., Murray, C. & Adams, A. (2007) Why Is The Developed World Obese?. Annual Review of Public Health, Volume 29. Retrieved May 5, 2008 from:

Lin, B.H., Guthrie, J. & Frazao E. (1999) “Nutrient contribution of food away from home”. In: Frazao, E. (Ed). America’s Eating Habits: Changes and Consequences. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 750, US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Washington, DC, pp. 213–239.

Farooqi, S., O’Rahilly, S. (2006) Genetics of obesity in humans. Endocrine Review, Volume 27.

Chakravarthy, M.V., Booth, F.W. (2004). Eating, exercise, and “thrifty” genotypes: connecting the dots toward an evolutionary understanding of modern chronic diseases. Journal of Applied Physiology, Volume 96.

Flier, J.S. (2004). Obesity wars: molecular progress confronts an expanding epidemic. Cell, Volume 116, Issue 2, pp. 337-350.

Zagorsky, J.L. (2004) Is Obesity as Dangerous to Your Wealth as to Your Health? Res Aging Volume 26, pp. 130-152.

Christakis, N.A., Fowler, J.H. (2007) The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years.”



Free Essays

Stigma Obesity

Laura Mealer 4/11/12 Essay #9 Stigma: Obesity The fat stigma is becoming a global problem according to an article in the New York Times by Tara Parker-Pope. “Dr. Brewis and her colleagues recently completed a multicountry study intended to give a snapshot of the international zeitgeist about weight and body image,”(NY times). ‘The findings were troubling, suggesting that negative perceptions about people who are overweight may soon become the cultural norm in some countries, including places where plumper, larger bodies traditionally have been viewed as attractive,’ according to a new report in the journal Current Anthropology.

Dr. Lear, who is studying rising childhood obesity in that country and in Canada, agrees the potential for stigmatization exists. ”We know in developed countries that obese people are less successful, less likely to get married, less likely to get promoted,” he said. The researchers elicited answers of true or false to statements with varying degrees of fat stigmatization. The fat-stigma test included statements like, ”People are overweight because they are lazy” and ”Some people are fated to be obese,”(NY Times).

Using mostly in-person interviews, supplemented with questions posed over the Internet, they tested attitudes among 700 people in 10 countries, territories and cities, including American Samoa, Tanzania, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Argentina, New Zealand, Iceland, two sites in Arizona and London. Dr. Brewis said she fully expected high levels of fat stigma to show up in the ”Anglosphere” countries, including the United States, England and New Zealand, as well as in body-conscious Argentina. But what she did not expect was how strongly people in the rest of the testing sites expressed negative attitudes about weight.

The results, Dr. Brewis said, suggest a surprisingly rapid ”globalization of fat stigma. ” But what appears to have changed is the level of criticism and blame leveled at people who are overweight. One reason may be that public health campaigns branding obesity as a disease are sometimes perceived as being critical of individuals rather than the environmental and social factors that lead to weight gain. ”A public health focus on ‘You can change,’ or ‘This is your fault,’ can be very counterproductive,” he said. ”Stigma is serious. ‘ “Key ideas in the global model of obesity include the notions that obesity is a disease and that fat reflects personal and social failing. In all our samples, some fat stigma is evident, and the global model suggests that the cultural shared idea that fat or obesity is a basis for judging the social and personal qualities of the individual. However, and critically, the shared cultural model also suggests the culturally correct perspective that expressing those judgments too obviously or forcefully is not acceptable. (JSTOR) “In summary, these analyses suggest that norms about fat-as-bad and fat-as-unhealthy are spreading globally and that cultural diversity in conceptions of ideal or acceptable body size appears to be on the decline. Certainly, negative and especially discrediting ideas about fat/obesity are now seemingly much more widespread than a thorough reading of the available ethnographies would suggest. This process of cultural change appears to be happening very quickly, likely representing homogenization in beliefs in this domain just within the last decade or two.

This leans us toward the age-old anthropological challenge of better understanding what drives the cultural diffusion of new ideas and feeds their gaining salience. Our findings hint that newer forms of educational media, including global public health campaigns, may be driving this trend. Whatever their source, it is important to understand the dynamics of fat-stigmatizing cultural models because of their potential influence on both physical and social well-being of individuals in a wide range of socioecological contexts. ”(JSTOR)

Free Essays

Obesity: Logic and Marion Nestle

“Obesity: Who is Responsible for Our Weight? ” In the essay, “Obesity: Who Is Responsible for Our Weight? ” Radley Balko explains his argument on obesity; we are responsible for what we eat. Overall, the strengths were clear and persuading in this essay. One strength in his essay was his main point, we are responsible for our own weight. He explains that we are in control of what we consume, and the government should not be responsible for that. This engages the reader to think, should we really blame the government, or is ourselves to blame. This main point validates all his reasoning.

Another strength is his ability to explain why government intervention is irrelevant to obesity. For example, he mentions that Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown is conducting to have a Fat Tax on high calorie food, where food restaurants must list their fat, calories, etc. on each meal. And instead they should be promoting personal-sense awareness. Overall this essay had more weaknesses than strengths. Though his side of the argument is completely true, his reasoning weren’t clearly detailed. For example, Radley Balko only targeted the government’s intervention on obesity.

But what should have followed that is the food industry businesses that allow this, not just the government. Not only did he lack detail, but also he didn’t consider the point of genetics. Some Americans do not become obese by choice, but by genetics. Those who are affected by genetics may be very conscience of what they eat, but it still does no justice because of their genes. This weakened his essay. Another weakness is that he focuses too much on the government’s intervention on obesity; instead he should have listed more reasons to why obesity is a personal problem.

Taken as a whole, the essay was very short, and took a while to get to the point. “Are You Responsible for Your Own Weight? ” I found this to be a very strong, interesting argumentative essay by Kelly Brownell and Marion Nestle. One strength relates to the fulfillment on attention grabbing in their opening sentence. Brownell and Nestle reminds us that the food industry is like any other business: they must grow. This makes a valid point, and grabs the readers attentions which leads to wanting to read more.

Mentioning the counter-argument that obesity is a personal responsibility is also a strength. This tells the reader that she is understanding to the opposing argument, while making hers very clear. Another strength is the fact that gives several examples why personal responsibility isn’t to blame which includes; obesity is growing year after year, it’s human biology for humans to be attracted to good food with high calories, the default approach of promotion of eating better and exercising more has failed for multiple years, and how personal responsibility is a trap.

Not only did they have multiple examples, they had clear reasoning for each example, which proves they thought out their argument on obesity. Although this was a very strong, convincing essay, there were a couple of weaknesses. The first weakness is the unawareness of government’s real role in business. In America, our policy towards business relies strictly on the concept of Laissez Faire. Laissez Faire means allowing industry to be free from state intervention, especially restrictions in the form of tariffs and government monopolies.

This is a very known concept to many Americans, and this weakens her argument. Another weakness is Brownell and Nestle mentioning they’re attentive to personal responsibility, but didn’t clearly give any reasoning to that. Overall, they essay was very well structured and barely had any weaknesses. The essay “Are You Responsible for Your Own Weight? ” gives a more persuading argument. First of all this essay was clearly structured, which made it easier to read. The first essay was not as easy to read, and not as structured.

Brownell and Nestle listed their reasoning, which made their points clear reassuring no confusion. Where as to Balko, there were barely any explained points in his essay, which made it hard to follow. Also, Brownell and Nestle are much more persuasive. They provided clear explained examples of why we are not the only ones responsible for obesity while Balko had little to none examples of why we are responsible. Altogether, Marion Nestle and Kelly Brownell provided a more effective argument on obesity and whose responsible for it than Radley Balko.

Free Essays

Childhood Obesity

Alyson M. Strand Public Speaking Persuasive Speech Sara Sorenson 12/06/2011 America’s Responsibility On October 19th, 2011 an 8 year old boy was removed from his home by officials from the state of Ohio. The parents are being tried for medical neglect. The child weighed 218 pounds at 8 years old. According to the Center For Disease Control, in 2007, approximately 13 million American children and adolescents were obese.

The effects of childhood obesity are both physical and emotional, not to mention preventable. According to the National Conference of State Legislation, obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for age growth charts. Dr. David S. Ludwig, M. D. , Ph. D. states in The New England Journal of Medicine in an article titled “Childhood Obesity—- The Shape of Things To Come”, the physical complications of childhood obesity; fatty liver disease, high blood pressure, gastroesophogeal reflux, orthopedic problems, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, flat feet, back pain, exercise intolerance, and chronic cardiac inflammation. Obese children who remain obese as adults also have high incidences of death in their middle ages of adulthood.

The emotional and psychosocial costs are just as staggering and difficult to manage as the physical complications of childhood obesity. According to Dr. David S. Ludwig M. D. , Ph. D. , obese children typically are, socially isolated, have eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. If the obese child stays obese into adulthood they are less likely to complete college and are more likely to live in poverty Jessica Gaude held the Guinness Book of World Records in 2009 for the fattest child in the world. At 5 years old Jessica was 200 pounds, her weight doubled by the time she was 7 years old.

She lost the ability to move as a regular person, her crushing weight too much for her seven year old frame to handle. She moved by scooting on her backside. Medical doctors enrolled Jessica in a specialty pediatric hospital in Virginia to assist Jessica in her weight lost battle. Through diet, exercise, therapy, determination, and emotional support Jessica managed to drop her extreme weight down to 150 pounds at 9 years old. In such extreme cases as Jessica’s it would be advisable to have medical professionals involved every step of the way but it is possible to prevent these kinds of cases from becoming so big.

Older generations followed the “clean plate rule”, as in a child is not finished eating until their plate is clean, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s website ChooseMyPlate. Gov, a child should no longer be forced to finish all of their food. Once the child is no longer hungry it is okay to allow them to leave the table. By forcing a child to eat parents and care givers are overriding the satiety sensation the brain receives when the stomach is full. Children’s stomachs are smaller than adults therefore their portion sizes should accommodate the size of their stomach.

To assist with portion control it is important to realize that the back of an individual’s fist is the correct size portion for that particular individual. Exercise is yet another way to prevent childhood obesity. Simply telling a child to go out and play does not work. If a child is the only child in the neighborhood the child will become bored and look to the parent(s) for entertainment. Adults are busy people; schedules are always crammed with too many things to do in 24 hours. It is time that adults start scheduling in their children’s well-being by having family exercise activities.

Instead of movie night try going for a walk. Enrolling children in sports improve not only physical health but psychosocial health as well. Sports allow the children to not only be physically active but it helps the child socialize, build new skills, self-confidence, and improves their overall self-image. Show support by doing the sport with the child on a parent/child team or volunteer to coach the sport the child is enrolled in. Either way presence is appreciated by the child as it shows the child the family is supportive. Education is the key to undertaking any change in life style.

By not only educating the parents but the children as well, the child is more likely to understand and cooperate. Once it is explained to the child, in an age appropriate manner, why eating healthy and being active is so important it gives the child a sense of power. According to Susan Okie, M. D. , and author of “Fed Up! Winning the War Against Childhood Obesity”, allowing the child choices that are healthy helps give back some of the control that the child may feel he/she lost in the change. Food Charts designed specifically for children in the early school years, Pre-K to first grade, help the child make educated decisions.

Instead of using the old food pyramid or ChooseMyPlate. gov listing items high in fat and sugar content as “red food”, items high in fat or high in sugar as “yellow food” , and items low in fat and sugar as “green food” helps them make their decisions. Allow the child to have an item from the “red food” list once a week, items from the “yellow food” list two to three times a week, and items in the “green food” list every day of the week. This may help a child in early grade school better understand the importance of eating healthy and it will make it fun.

Instead of waiting until the last minute to figure out what to feed the family for dinner during the week, make a weekly meal plan. Go grocery shopping for the entire week and get all the necessary ingredients for each nightly meal. This decreases the urge to go for convenience like the drive-through offers. This sounds like a good idea but it is not always practical to eat in every night. Paula Ford- Martin, author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide To The Overweight Child”, realizes that like it or not eating out is an American norm.

Paula Ford-Martin suggests skipping the drive through and going to a sit down restaurant as they offer more choices that are healthier. Also these types of eating establishments usually have menu items that are able to be cooked to an individual’s specifications. Besides the better choices offered the nutritional information is usually easier to access. An individual can ask their server what types of oils are used in preparing the food, this helps to make more educated and healthy choices for the child. Also it is possible to substitute items on the menu.

If a child orders macaroni and cheese and gets a side to accompany the main dish skip the fries and order fresh fruit or steamed vegetables. When eating out be aware that the children’s menu is not always the healthiest choice for the children. According to Paula Ford-Martin’s book, the kids menu is filled with deep fried chicken nuggets, hamburgers, fries, and hot dogs. The portions may be more appropriate but it is possible to have your child order from the adult menu and only get half of the adult portion, just ask the servers to box up half of the portion before the meal is served.

Free Essays

Americas Obesity Epidemic

Cheyenne Rogers English IV Senior Paper America’s Obesity Epidemic Obesity is a chronic condition defined by an excess amount of body fat. Within eight years in the United States, the incidence of obesity has nearly doubled. People throughout America are slowly being affected by this national problem of obesity. The obesity epidemic is growing throughout each state in America, but now reasons for this epidemic are becoming clearer to individuals. Everyone wants to know a reason for the obesity epidemic, and now answers are appearing. Many reasons for this epidemic are due to present day generations, as well as American lifestyles.

Fast food has not only come to dominate the American landscape, it has become the most visible American export around the globe (Down to Earth). Cheap and convenient food, busy work lives, and social lives, as well as a constant barrage from media sources have over-loaded Americans are all having a detrimental effect on people’s mental and physical health (Thompson). Due to busy lifestyles and laziness throughout America, people have found it easier to go through a drive-thru rather than take the time to go home and make a healthier meal for themselves.

Weight gain and obesity are caused by consuming more calories than the body needs (“Obesity in America”). Genetic determinations, such as the way a body expends energy, hormones, which affect the way that calories are processed, and other organ systems in the body can all affect appetite (“Obesity in America”). Obesity is a disease that takes time to cure, but people will need to have determination to find a cure and also the understanding and knowing the cure will not come fast or easy. Thus, due to all these causes of obesity, America is in an epidemic that needs to be solved sooner than later.

A big contributor to the obesity epidemic is the influence of the environment, such as lifestyles people have created. Within the American environments, what a person eats and how active he or she is, is now considered a lifestyle behavior (“Genetic Obesity”). Lifestyles contribute to obesity, because not only do families share genes, but they also share their lifestyle habits with in another in each household (“Genetic Obesity”). In any environment, diets from home are followed and original lifestyles can be carried on throughout life and adds to the ongoing obesity problem.

Body functions of humans haven’t changed over the past 50-100 years, yet in society there have been an increasing number of people that are obese over the years (“Obesity”). Obesity over the past 30 years is most likely due to the recent environmental changes (Brehm). The environmental changes caused the obesity rates to increase over the years instead of decrease. The environment needs to change in a positive way in order for people to live in a healthy society. The media is pressuring people into unhealthy eating habits and unhealthy lifestyles.

People’s exposure to fast food ads have increased compared to 2003 (“Effective Summary”). McDonald’s web-based marketing starts with children as young as two years old using Ronald. com (“Effective Summary”). Exposure to fast food restaurants and ads for these restaurants at such a young age is a major contributor to obesity. Kids are being told at a young age that it is okay to eat junk food; not being told that it is unhealthy for them. Advanced technology is also a factor in media expanding their products.

Nine restaurant Facebook pages had more than one million fans as of July 2010, and Starbucks boasted more than 11. 3 million fans (“Effective Summary”). Smart phone apps were available for eight fast food chains, providing another opportunity to reach out to the young consumers anytime and anywhere (“Effective Summary”). In occurrence to the new technology, everyone has extra access to ads for all the unhealthy foods. The advanced technology has even gotten to the point where you can order food from your device.

The media controls America by constantly pressuring people. The media advertising unhealthy foods it does not help to solve the obesity epidemic, and if this continues the epidemic will not be solved. A big reason for American obesity is because of fast food markers, which tend to be very greedy. Eighty-four percent of parents reported to taking their child to a fast food restaurant at least once in the previous week (Effective Summary). Fast food businesses make it easy for parents to supply food for children at low costs.

Parents of the elementary school aged children were more likely to order a combo meal or dollar/value menu item for their child than a kid’s meal for the child (Effective Summary). Each meal is getting smaller and less filling for children pushing to get a bigger meal, even more unhealthy. In this case not only are parents feeding their children unhealthy foods, but over feeding them as well. Health problems are a result of obesity most people do not know about, such as diseases being results in unhealthy eating for a long period of time.

Children and adolescents who eat fast food consume more calories, fat, sugar, and sugar sweetened beverages (Effective Summary). Removal of the nutrients from the body causes extra eating of non-nutritional foods, as the body seeks to regulate the actual levels of the nutrients it truly needs. Removing nutrients from the body is neglect towards the body. In order to be a healthy person it is necessary to consume all nutrients needed. A Finnish study showed that for every one kilogram (2. 2 pounds) increase in body weight, increases the risk of death from coronary artery disease by one percent (“Obesity”).

Obesity is a risk for chronic disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer (“Genetic Obesity”). Continuing to eat junk food is increasing chances of death, which is no joking matter. Most importantly, people should come to realization how serious and controlling obesity can really be. The effects of obesity are not only being physical fitness, but psychological as well. Losing weight and keeping it off can come more of a challenge to some than it does to others (T. J. Clark). This is caused by physical and psychological challenges.

Many people continue to ridicule, mock, and even abuse the obese (The Effect of Obesity). People trying to lose weight are extremely vulnerable and are already currently struggling. Therefore, they need others support, not discouraging attitudes. Obese individuals trying to better themselves need support, especially when others find it necessary to constantly degrade the obese on a daily basis. Obese people may have fewer social and romantic relationships compared to the non-obese (Tree). Given that, low self-esteem is common among the severely obese as it is (The Effect of Obesity).

Obesity causes much insecurity that people have a difficult time overcoming. A main effect of obesity is people not being pleased with themselves in any way, and no one should feel uncomfortable in their own skin. If the obesity epidemic continues, America will be an unhealthy world to live in, literally. Scientists project that by the year 2015 the number of overweight people in the world will tip to 2. 3 billion with more than 700 million people being obese (Green Life). The predictions have been made and at the rate America is going, these will be the obesity rates in three short years.

Since 1995 diabetes rates have doubles in eight states within the United States (F as in Fat: How Obesity Threaten America’s Future 2011). Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate over 15 percent, but in today’s world there are two out of three states have obesity rates that are over 25 percent (F as in Fat: How Obesity Threaten America’s Future 2011). Thirty-eight states have high obesity rates, and the rates don’t just stop there… they keep increasing. Our future as Americans is a fat society. As a citizen, everyone should be concerned in helping to solve the ongoing problem, not only to better ourselves but to better our country!

This problem can be controlled with motivation to work out and exercise, dedication to better themselves, and cooperation to stop the obesity epidemic from growing, to better each individuals body in America. To start, time reduced from watching the television and in other similar sedentary behaviors (A Vision for the Future: The Obesity Epidemic). Two of the largest fast food advertisers to children have joined the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, CFBAI, pledging to advertise only “better for you” choices to all children (Effective Summary).

Plans to solve this problem are starting to be formed; and people just need to react in a productive way and help out. Other ways to help solve the problem are to ensure that schools provide healthful food and beverages on school campuses (A Vision for the Future: The Obesity Epidemic). As the President of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, Phillip James, states “to change the food environment by requiring the companies label on soft drinks or fast food so that people are well informed, this is another way of helping reduce obesity” (Obesity Prevention Needs Change in Living Environment).

Actions are taking place now, and soon America will have this problem solved with the help of the citizens from all over. America’s obesity epidemic has been an ongoing problem for the past 20 years. There has been questioning on what to do, how to fix the increasing epidemic, and how to react… but now, the answers are clearly coming out. With support from others, obesity will become one step closer to an epidemic being reduced. Given there are a lot obstacle to go through to stay healthy there are a lot of easy ways to do it as well. The media is always a pressure, but just think… save a life by not having any health issues throughout life.

Avoid the effects of being obese and insecure. And take a step forward and become a part of help our future generations NOT be obese. Now, with the cooperation of fast food companies, you can still get food quickly in the drive through just choose the healthier entree. American citizens created this problem and American citizens will get America a solution as well! Works Cited “A Vision for the Future: The Obesity Epidemic. ” Vision. Vision. org. , 31 Jul 2008. Web. 2 Mar 2012. Brehm, Bonnie, and David D. “Impact of the Enviroment. ” EndoText. EndoText Inc. , 24 Nov 2010. Web. Mar 2012. . “Executive Summary . ” Fast Food f. a. c. t. s.. Rudd Center. Web. 1 Mar 2012. “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011. ” Trust for Americas Health . 2012 Trust for America’s Health, Jul 2011. Web. 2 Mar 2012. T. J. Clark. “Genetic Obesity . ” T. J. Clark & Company, 2008. Web. 1 Mar 2012. “Green Life. ” Obesity and the Enviroment . Green Life, 06 Mar 2011. Web. 2 Mar 2012. “Obesity . ” Medicine Net. MedicineNet, Inc, 2012. Web. 2 Mar 2012. ” Obesity in America. ” Down to Earth . Down to Earth ALL VEGETARIAN Organic & Natural, 16 Sep 2011. Web. 2 Mar 2012. Obesity Prevention Needs Change in Living Environment: Experts. ” The Star: Online. Star Publications, 16 Jul 2010. Web. 2 Mar 2012. “Obesity Prevention Needs Change in Living Environment: experts. ” English News. 2012 Xinhua, english. news. cn. , 16 Jul 2010. Web. 1 Mar 2012. “The Effect of Obesity . ” Tree. com, Inc. , 02 Jun 2010. Web. 2 Mar 2012. Thompson, Dennis . “Too Much Work, Food, Media May Be Hurting Health. ” News Health . U. S. News & World Report LP, 06 Jun 2011. Web. 2 Mar 2012. “Understanding Obesity . ” Obesity In America . 2012 Copyright – Obesity in America, 2004.

Free Essays

Global Issues: Obesity, Inactivity, and Water-Crisis

Health is a precious gift that needs to be cherished. Unfortunately, there are three global issues that are destroying people’s health and killing them. These health concerns include inactivity, obesity and lack of safe drinking water. The positive side of these issues is the fact that they are all preventable through making the right decisions and taking action. Due to higher trends of sedentary lifestyles, inactivity has become one of the critical current global issues. Inactivity is defined as a failure to meet the daily minimum physical requirement of moderate exercise.

According to New York Times, worldwide, 31. 1% of adults are inactive, from which 43. 4% of North America, 34. 8% of Europe, 30% of Russia, 30% of the Middle East, and 27% African. Based on these percentages, it is reasonable to assume that the wealthy the region is, the more inactive it is likely to be. Sedentary lifestyles have recently been linked to many health issues such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and breast cancer. As stated in the New York Times, globally, around 5. 3 million people die from health issues that are related to physical inactivity; however comparatively, 5. million people die due to health concerns that are related to smoking. It is unfortunate that people do not understand the magnitude of the importance of physical activity due to the fact that inactivity is as deadly as smoking cigarettes. In the United States, inactivity level is the highest in the world, which makes it an undeniable concern. The average American lifestyle consists of driving to work, sitting at a desk all day, then sitting in front of a computer or a TV screen until falling asleep. The common trend of this routine is a lot of sitting and very little exercise.

Although, the good news is that health issues correlated with inactivity can be easily prevented by meeting the minimum exercise requirement, which is a twenty-minute walk per day. Additionally, as for worldwide prevention, governmental intervention may be necessary. Some examples are to build more parks, promote the importance of exercise, and set up financial incentives. Obesity is another growing global concern, which is defined as an “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health,” which is caused by an “energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. According to the World Health Organization, as of 2008, there are 1. 4 billion adults that are overweight, of which 200 million men and 300 million women were obese. Obesity is the fifth leading risk for deaths around the world; around 2. 8 million adults each year die due to health issues concerning being overweight or obese. Some medical conditions are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and several types of cancers. Globally, obesity has been a growing concern, due to consumption of high calorie processed foods. In addition, an increased level of inactivity adds to the growing number of obese people.

The bright side of obesity is that it is very easily preventable. On an individual level, obesity can be prevented by limited intake of highly calorie processed foods, increased intake of fresh produce such as vegetables and fruit, and regular exercise. The United States, also known as the fattest country in the world, has been battling with the growing issue of obesity. The fast pace and busy lifestyle does not help this fast food loving society. American’s love for McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, and other fast food joints is not helping the battle with the expanding waistlines.

In response to this concern, there have been several preventable initiates, such as Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign that aims to teach kids the importance of eating healthy and exercising regularly. Overall, obesity is a fast growing concern but it can be prevented by the correct actions, knowledge and initiatives. Furthermore, the lack of safe drinking water is another critical global concern. According to WHO, unsafe drinking water causes diarrhea, malaria, malnutrition, lymphatic filariasis, and trachoma.

The availability of safe drinking water is the essential to staying healthy. The human body is made up of mostly water; thus, to stay healthy, we require clean water just as much as we need proper nutrients from food. The developing areas of the world have the lowest availability of safe cleaning water due to insuffient governmental capital funds. However, clean water concern is not limited to only really poor areas such as Africa and Southeast Asia. Eastern European countries are also suffering from the problem of not having clean drinking water.

From my own experience of living in Kiev, Ukraine, the water that comes out of the faucet is pigmented yellow and is not recommended for drinking. There, most people opt for drinking only bottled water. The good news about the issue of unsafe drinking water is the fact that according to the WHO, “89% of the world’s population had some form of improved water supply. ” In order to continue improving the world’s water supply, local governments need to invest in necessary precautions to make the drinking water safe, such as distributing water filters, water bottles, and building protected dug wells.

Overall, the three current issues that are affecting global health are inactivity, obesity and lack of safe drinking water. A person cannot be healthy if they sit around all day, consuming more calories than their body knows what to do with and drink contaminated, dirty water. Physical activity, healthy eating patterns and clean water are essential to our everyday health; thus, actions need to be taken at the individual and governmental level in order to save and prolong human lives on this planet. Works Cited “How does safe water impact global health? ” WHO. 9 Sept. 2012 <http://www. who. int/features/qa/70/en/index. html>. “Obesity and overweight. ” WHO. 19 Sept. 2012 <http://www. who. int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/>. “The Couch Potato Goes Global. ” Well. 19 Sept. 2012 <http://well. blogs. nytimes. com/2012/07/18/the-couch-potato-goes-global/>. “Water-related diseases. ” WHO. 19 Sept. 2012 <http://www. who. int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/malnutrition/en/>. “Water, sanitation and hygiene. ” WHO. 19 Sept. 2012 <http://www. who. int/gho/phe/water_sanitation/en/index. html>.

Free Essays

Research Proposal on Childhood Obesity

Child obesity is a condition characterized by the child having too much fat in the body to an extent of his or her health being in danger. In adults, it could be described as a state of having a body mass index of more than thirty (Paxon, 2006). Parents feeding them with too many calories bring about obesity in children. The excess calories are converted to fats that accumulate in the child’s body. This child will develop a big body because he or she will add weight and become quite fleshy.

Obese children are at a risk of getting very adverse health effects, some of which are fatal. The study found that high blood pressure in childhood was only a weak predictor of early death and high cholesterol was not associated with premature death, but experts suggested those factors were easier to control with medication. A rare study that tracked thousands of children through adulthood found the heaviest youngsters were more than twice as likely as the thinnest to die prematurely, before age 55, of illness or a self-inflicted injury.

Being overweight during childhood and adolescence increases the risk of developing high cholesterol, hypertension, respiratory ailments, orthopedic problems, depression and type 11 diabetes as a youth. One disease of particular concern is Type 11 diabetes, which has linked to overweight and obesity and has increased dramatically in children and adolescents. Watching television, using the computer, and playing video games occupy a large percentage of children’s leisure time, influencing their physical activity levels.

Overweight children and adolescents are more likely to become overweight or obese adults. It is an extremely difficult cycle to break. An unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle are known risk factors for the three leading causes of death in adults: cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Hypertension is the commonest problem facing man at present. Though the understanding of hypertension has improved considerably with an increased awareness of the disorder in the general population, the control of hypertension has been dismally poor.

During my research, I personally have found that blood pressure levels often equate with low birth weight, body mass, maternal age, racial factors, childhood obesity, insulin levels, an elevated blood pressure during childhood, and a positive family history. In fact, children from hypertensive families generally tend to have higher blood pressure levels than kids from normotensive families. Besides, there is also a greater association in blood pressure levels between fathers and their children. One of the major causes of obesity to be addressed is eating excess calories from energy rich foods.

Eating a variety of healthy foods is necessary for optimal growth and development, Protects against disease and provides energy to play, explore and learn. This is also accompanied by inadequate exercising or working out. This results in fats accumulating in the body. Parents should monitor their children’s feeding habits and take them for regular check-up. There are many ways that parents can help their children on a healthier path. Start early to establish healthy eating practices at home; be a role model, kids love to follow if lead by example.

Plan healthier snacks that meet the nutritional needs and kids enjoy eating as well. To determine whether a child is obese or not, his or her body mass index is measured. It is then compared to the child’s height. In case a child is obese, treatment should be sought promptly before more damage is done by this condition. The diet should be balanced and meals should be eaten in a regular schedule. The child should also be assisted to shed the unnecessary weight. This should be done using the safest method. The child should also be encouraged to work out a lot and be very active.

The find acquired so far include prevention and the long-term effects that would be brought on by by obesity. To prevent obesity from affecting one’s child, the parent should ensure that he or she eats low-calorie foods. The child should also increase the intake of fruits, vegetables and water. A child should be encouraged to participate in outdoor activities such as sports and games. If a child becomes obese and little or nothing is done, there are long-term effects. These include diseases like coronary issues and problems with respiratory system.

Due to poor health, children may not live up to their potential. Parents’ spending a fortune for their child treatments brings non-satisfaction and potential depression (Kazaks & Stern, 2009). Mothers who have jobs do not directly cause weight problems in their children, but families that are busy not really having the time to prepare food that rely on fast food and frozen dinners. Addressing obesity in children is a very vital issue. It is important to understand what causes this condition, how to identify it, treat and prevent it.

The health of our children is the most important thing. No parent would like their children to suffer terminal diseases or die at an early age especially because of obesity. Children would also want to live up to their dreams and achieve their best. Obesity has been noted to cause not only body disorders but also mental instability in children. A child who is obese will probably have low self-esteem, suffer depression and be very inactive. It is important to address the problem in order to avoid all the likely consequences caused by obesity.

Free Essays

Causes of Teenage Obesity

One of the offshoots of some of the eating disorders is teenage obesity. Obesity is a condition where the fat percentage of a child is over 32% for girls and 35% for boys or when the child’s body weight is over by 20% of their ideal weight according to their height. It is not necessarily linked to eating disorders, but eating disorders like Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating can be linked to obesity.

Also, while obesity can be problem at different stages of life (for example, even a 7 year old child can classed as obese), most eating disorders are related to the teenage years. Obesity amongst children is one of the growing health concerns for parents across the world and this health risk is growing at an alarming rate. Research indicates that most obese children grow up to be obese adults. There are several factors that lead to obesity. Below are some of the key causes of obesity: Physical inactivity: This is one of the biggest causes of teenage obesity.

Associated essay: Teenagers and Their Leisure Time

With teenagers spending most of their time in front of the television, playing computer games or on mobiles with their friends and lack of interest in extra-curricular activities after school or college and lack of exercise are some of the key causes of teenage obesity. Bad eating habits: Another big reason for teenage obesity is bad eating habits. The surge in the consumption of high fat foods like burgers, chips, fizzy drinks and fries has already been condemned and treated as one of the main causes of child obesity.

Genetic Patterns & Family Behaviour: Genetic patterns and family behaviours are also important causes of obesity and it is difficult to separate the two. Whilst the probability of obese parents having obese children is around 30%, it is also true that obese parents often have poor eating habits and condone poor family nutrition, resulting in overweight kids. Chemical or hormonal imbalances: Another major reason for obesity, especially amongst teenagers, is hormonal changes.

Teenagers undergo significant hormonal changes as they reach puberty, which could trigger cravings for certain foods or over-consumption of food. Lower metabolism: Some teenagers have the tendency to retain or conserve body energy and this trait is easily visible from early childhood, where growth milestones in a child seem to be much quicker than usual. The first two reasons outlined above (lack of physical activity and lack of proper diet) are the primary reasons for obesity amongst teenagers.

As parents, you need o take your teenager’s obesity issue very seriously and get medical and professional help if you see your child being unable to partake in any sport or physical activity or if school/college authorities express concern over their weight or feel that your teenager is overweight. In the book “Solving Teenage Problems”, several tips to deal with teenage obesity have been provided. Along with this the book also touches upon various eating disorders, which can lead to teenage obesity – their causes and tips to solve them.

Free Essays

Teen Obesity

When I was a teenager I faced obesity myself. Going through high school was the hardest thing ever. I weighed over two hundred pounds and I was constantly getting bullied and made fun of. When I was at home all I did sit around watch TV, play video games, and eat constantly. I never thought of going outside and doing physical fitness. Well one day I was lying in my bed and I was thinking about what I was doing to myself and how one day I could possibly not be here anymore if I keep doing what I am doing. My senior year of high school was a big change in my life.

I lost over seventy pounds and I felt great about myself. Teenage obesity is getting worse over the years in America. The growth rates of teen obesity increasing are stunning. The reasons why teens are becoming obese are because of less activity or inactivity, excess TV watching, and fast food restaurants. First cause of teen obesity is less activity or inactivity of teenagers. Teenagers are more likely to become obese if they do not perform any activity at all or they are not doing enough activity to burn off calories and carbohydrates that cause fat build up in the body.

Many television studies show that teenagers who have television sets in their bedrooms tend to watch TV more which can lead to inactivity”. (Teenage Obesity pg. 1) In order to prevent teens from becoming obese they must stay involved in some type of activity like sports, running, walking, bike riding, swimming, and etc… these activities must be done every day or at least five times a week. Also parents can be a big cause of teen obesity. The reason why is because lots of parents don’t care about their children doing activities.

If parents were raised doing whatever they wanted to do then more than likely their children are going to be raised the same way. Some parents are suffering from obesity themselves so this shows that their children are looking at their parents as being lazy and the children think they can do the same thing which leads the children to inactivity. Second cause of teen obesity is excess TV watching. TV watching is the main cause of teen obesity.

The reason being is because teens tend to get addicted to TV shows and video games which leads them to become couch potato’s. Couch potato’s are caused by teens who sit, immobile, watching a screen instead of playing sports. A second view ties TV watching to eating, either through a barrage of ads or because teens snack while watching”. (ScienceDaily Pg. 1) “25% shows that television watching causes teens to snack largely on junk food because of food commercials that intimidate teens”. (ScienceDaily Pg. 1) Teen agers that sit on the couch and watch TV for excess amounts of hours causes the body to build up excess fat because there is nothing being burned off.

Not only is TV causing teens to be overweight but video games are another big factor in teen obesity. “Children with higher weight status spent moderate amounts of time playing electronic video games”. (ScienceDaily Pg. 1) Video games become so addicting to teens that right when they get home from school they head straight to the couch to play. This causes teens to become lazy and obese. Final cause of teen obesity is Fast food restaurants. Fast food restaurants are a leading cause to teenage obesity.

The reason why is because teens have no clue what they are ordering or if what they are eating is healthy for you or not. Also lots of teens are lazy to eat something from home, so they head out to a fast food restaurant where they can eat a lot of food for cheap money. Parents are a big reason for this because when parents have to work during the day they get tired and when they get home there too lazy to cook anything for their children so they take them out to dinner for fast food because again it’s cheap.

Fast food contains high saturated fats and calories. Fast foods are packed with high amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, oil etc. Even small amount of fast food can increase your calorie intake considerably. ”(YgoY Pg. 1) All of these lead to obesity. Another reason that fast food causes teens to be obese is because it is very addicting. It’s addicting because of the taste, advertisements, and it’s cheap to buy.

“According to research, teenagers who eat fast food two times a week their obesity risk increases by 50%”. YgoY Pg. 1) Fast food eating leads teens from eating fruits and vegetables because of the addiction to the taste of fast food which cause obesity to rise in teens. In conclusion teen obesity is rising every year in America. The only way to stop this from rising is on the parents and on how they should raise their kids and to show them the right way not the wrong. I main causes of teen obesity are inactivity or less activity, excess TV watching, and fast food restaurants.

Free Essays

Childhood Obesity

Hope Jenkins COM1010 P05 Instructor Suzan November 24, 2012 Topic: Childhood Obesity General Purpose: To inform Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about childhood obesity. Thesis: Showing statistics of childhood obesity, the effects of it, and the steps that parents could take to reduce their kid(s) chances of becoming obese. Delivery Plan: When giving my delivery plan, I plan on speaking from my heart, maintain eye contact with my audience while speaking in a serious tone voice since this is a serious subject matter.

I also intend on staying focus on the main points at hand, and using good upper body gestures that will be effective when delivering my speech; instead of standing completely still. l. Introduction: A. Attention Getter: according to eatright. org obesity affects one in every three American children ranging from the ages of 2-19, effecting both boys and girls of all race and ethnic groups. B. Importance: It’s an appalling wake up call to realize that we all are in danger of raising the first generation of American children in history who will experience shorter life expectancies than we as their parents would.

C. Credibility: According to stop-childhood-obesity. com, obesity rates have tripled the past 30yrs and have become an American epidemic, in which children follow the lead of American adults who are on record as the heaviest population group in the world with 65% of adults suffering from obesity. D. (Body) I want to share what childhood obesity means, because in order to understand it, you have to know what it means and the effects it could have on children and some suggestions that could help reduce kid(s) chances of becoming obese. 1.

First I will inform you about what obesity means with regards to children and list some statistics of childhood obesity in America. 2. Secondly I will inform you about what might be some causes and effects of childhood obesity. 3. Thirdly, I will share with you some suggests that could help reduce kid(s) chances of becoming obese. ll. I want to share with you the meaning of obesity amongst children and some statistics of childhood obesity in America. 1. Obesity is defined as an abnormal accumulation of body fat that has an adverse effect on someone’s health.

To put in simple terms, it basically means you are carrying around too much fat. 2. Obesity is a result of caloric imbalance, basically meaning that children are consuming more calories than they are using and are becoming obese as a result. According to the 2012 Heart Association Statistical Fact Sheet: 3. In order for a child to be considered obese there BMI (Body Mass Index) must be equal to or greater than the 95th percentile, meaning they have too much body fat. 4. Statistics show that in the 95th percentile among children ages 2–19, about 1 in 6 are obese in the CDC growth charts which all boys make up 17. % and all girls 15. 9% of that percentile; Approximately 12. 5 million. 5. 70 to 80 percent of overweight children eventually become obese adults. 6. More than 25% of all U. S. healthcare costs are associated with obesity and inactivity. Transition: Now that we have covered the meaning of obesity amongst children and some statistics of childhood obesity in America I will like to share with you some causes and effects of childhood obesity. A. There are many Children battling this daily; I want to share with you some causes and effects obesity could have on kid(s). According to weird strange facts. om 1. Poverty is considered a major cause of childhood obesity, due to the fact that fast food is way cheaper to purchase than fresh produce. a. children eating fast food all the time eventually end up with short/long-term health problems. 2. Another cause is children spending too much time participating in inactive activities such as laying on the couch watching television and playing on their computers. b. This results in kids having a poor diet, by them eating processed foods and sodas which are quicker for them to consume while they’re participating in inactive activities. . Lack of exercise is another important cause of obesity in children. c. The absence of exercise in children could lead them to have emotional problems due to bullying, shorter life expectancies than their parents, diabetes, eating disorders, asthma, and so many other effects. Transition: We have seen what causes and effects are associated with childhood obesity, so now let’s take a look at some suggestions experts say that could help reduce kid(s) chances of becoming obese. Experts of Healthrightusa. rg suggested these tips for parents to help reduce their kid’s chances of becoming obese: 1. Parents making lifestyle changes with their kids such as buying more healthy products instead of processed foods. 2. Cook it ourselves (for parents to cook their kid’s meal so that they can provide them with healthy choices). 3. For parents to participate in physical activities with their children such as walking, playing outdoor games (for example kickball, volleyball, etc. ). 4. For parents to add vegetables and fruits in their kid’s everyday menu. 5.

Guidance (for parents to make their kids aware of childhood obesity, so that they could guide them to eat right and exercise daily) 6. Cut down on getting fast food more than twice a week. 7. For parents to limit the amount of time their kids watch TV, play games, and all other inactive activities that will increase their kids risks of being obese. 8. Focus on good health, overall is another good step parents can do to help reduce obesity in their kids. III. Conclusion: A. Review of Main Points: 1. What obesity means with regards to children and statistics of childhood obesity in America. . Causes and effects of childhood obesity. 3. Suggestions parents can do to help reduce their kids becoming obese. B. Closure: I know most of us have a busy lifestyle, in which breaking habits such as feeding our kids fast food all the time and buying junk food are hard to break; but I hope that with this information you all will better understand the major risks factors that our everyday actions could have on our kids health. So I will end saying this, experts say that parents have the power to reduce obesity in their kids so I hope that this information informed you all on those things.

Work Cited: “Childhood Obesity in America. ” 27 Feb 2012. Web 24 Nov 2012. <http://thebariatricsurgeryresource. com/articles/2012/02/27/childhood-obesity-america>. “Causes of Obesity in America. ” Web 24 Nov 2012. <http://www. weird-strange-facts. com/child-obesity-in-america. html>. “Overweight and Obesity. ” Web 24 Nov 2012. <http://www. heart. org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_319588. pdf>. “The Facts on Childhood Obesity. ” Web 24 Nov 2012. <http://www. orangelaces. com/site/index/childhood_obesity/>.

Free Essays

How Fast Food Affects Child Obesity

Obesity has become and increasing problem in the United States for the past few years. Not only has it affected adults but now children at an alarming rate. Fast food is the cause of a lot of overweight children and needs to be addressed immediately.

According to CBS news, billions of dollars each year are spent buying fast food. Parents have become lazy when it comes to providing their children with basic essential nutrients. I feel as though children are becoming more overweight because they’re eating very fattening foods and not having any extracurricular activities. Schools must become more aware of the situation and make physical education a priority. If certain schools don’t enforce physical education then the parents have to involve their children in after school activities.

CBS news expresses concern that children are becoming more prone to serious health risks and life altering illnesses because of obesity. Fast foods are filled with high doses of sugar, fats, starch and salts which are served in large portions. Rutuja Jathar feels consumers are tricked by fast food companies because of their low prices but evidently are paying a high price when it comes to their health. I have seen documentaries and reality shows such as supersize me, fast food nation and the future of food which talk about overweight children and adults who are constantly eating fatty foods and drinking large amounts of soda every day. Parents do not realize the amount of damage they are causing and potentially leading their child to death.

I believe that children who are overweight are not only affected physically but emotionally and mentally. Based on personal experiences children who have been overweight for majority of their lives are more likely to become depressed, teased and may lead to other dangerous routes such as suicide. To support my statement an article called “Childhood Obesity: Effects on your Child” says being overweight can cause low self esteem, behavior and learning problems, stress and anxiety, comfort eating and depression. They become very self conscious and shy because they feel as though people will look at them differently due to their weight.

Children who are obese are not to blame; it’s the parents who are at fault. A child only does what their parents allow them to do. Children do not have money to go out and buy these foods for their selves; their parents to do it. Parents need to become more responsible when it comes to what their children are eating. A child does not know any better but their parents do.

According to Rutuja Jathar’s article studies show that boys and girls between the ages of four and nineteen eat fast food on a regular basis. That would includes fattening foods not just from McDonalds but from restaurants such as Friday’s, Chili’s, Cheesecake Factory, etc. It is my belief that parents are enabling their children to live unhealthy lives which will lead them on a path of never ending health issues. Also children are still growing so they need the essential vitamins to help with their growth.

An article posted by Michael Adams say that statistics are showing that between 10% and 15% of children within the United States are overweight and does not include the ones who are at risk of becoming overweight. He also discusses other factors that contribute to children being overweight such as television, video games and advertising. Interesting enough he talks about most parents living hectic lives so in many cases they don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal and therefore resort to fast food. It continues saying the bad part about it is that parents who have that hectic lifestyle end up making it an everyday routine where their children are eating fast food. Adams makes an important point stating that if a child wants a double cheese burger, a large order of fries and coke that child will end up consuming 1340 calories and 53 grams of fat in one meal. Adults are to consume 2,000 calories a day and children less than that. Basically what Adams is trying to say is children are eating a whole days worth of calories and fat in one meal.

To relieve this crisis parents can look at more creative ways of serving their kids healthier food. Rutuja Jathar says that fast food doesn’t make a child full, but because of the high amount of starch in the servings they will only become hungrier. As a result they will acquire more weight. An idea that parents can use to get their kids eating healthier is to make them involved with preparing their own meals. This way kids will be more motivated to eat the healthier choice and will feel a sense of accomplishment. Instead of frying the foods try to use healthier methods of cooking such as baking and broiling. Also like I stated earlier getting children involved in extracurricular activities will help kids burn off the carbohydrates and fat.

To conclude child obesity is becoming an increasing issue. Children who are growing up in today’s society who are obese are most likely to be obese into adulthood. We have to stop making excuses as to why this problem is what it is. These children are not adding value to their lives and can die at such young ages. Fast food plays a large role in the amount of overweight children but it is not to blame. Parents are responsible for the livelihood of their children and must do better. Doctors must do better also when it comes to educating parents about the important nutrients and foods their children need stay healthy. Our society needs to encourage kids to become more active and choose healthier eating habits. The children are our future and without them there wouldn’t be one.

Free Essays

Childhood Obesity and Cartoons

There are more obese children in the current times than ever before, and many people blame many different sources. One of these sources is Television; whether it is the act of the children watching television, or the shows themselves and what the children are seeing on the programs. The main discussion in what children’s television programs are showing is ‘food’ – more specifically, unhealthy food. Many of the programs on the children’s television channels show many cases of food during their run-time, and many argue that the majority of this food is unhealthy, and part of the cause of our children’s obesity.

One of the more current cases in this category involved the long-time popular young children’s show Sesame Street, in which the beloved Cookie Monster was changed. He was changed to eat fruits and vegetables with the occasional cookie – because always eating cookies was unhealthy, and many complained that their children were getting a bad example from this. This was an extreme case since the show was actually changed (since it was such a popular show for young kids) – where in most shows, people wouldn’t argue as much, nor would they bother to change.

A lot of studies have been done regarding the relation between obesity in children and children’s television, however mostly the studies were just making a correlation between the number of hours of television viewed and child obesity. The studies were not all paying attention to the exact programs or channels watched, just the fact that it was television. In his essay “Healthy Cartoons? A Content Analysis of Foods in Children’s Animated Television Programs,” Jeremy L. Korr talks about food in children’s television programming.

Not only does he look back and gather together a lot of the important studies done concerning Children’s television programs and the food shown or referenced, but he does his own studies of the current Children’s Cartoons and their food shown and referenced (which will be discussed later). There are some older studies of children’s programs, one of which was conducted in 1994 by Warnke and Albrecht. They analyzed many children’s network programs airing Saturday mornings broadcast during 1991 and 1992.

Of the foods mentioned or shown in these shows, “32 percent were fruits and vegetables, 14 percent were sweets” (Korr 452), and the rest were other food-types. This already helps to show that children’s programs do not show only unhealthy or even mostly unhealthy foods. However, a more recent study conducted by Poor in 2007 showed some different results. After watching 20 hours of the Disney Channel’s programming, “Poor found that 57 percent of the foods referenced within the Disney Channel programs were low in nutritional value” (Korr 452).

These two studies seem to contradict each other, however the study done by Warnke and Albrecht was done on Saturday morning programming on major networks, where children (and parents) will be more likely to be watching the programs, whereas the study done by Poor was not. So the study done by Warnke and Albrecht could almost (but not) be disregarded, since the programs will intentionally try to be healthier since there will be more attention (by parents etc. ) on Saturday morning programming.

In summary, these studies do not seem to show that children’s television programs are all showing only unhealthy food. The Saturday morning children’s programs on the major channels tend to stick more with healthier foods, but the weekday children’s programs on channels such as the Disney Channel tend to be closer to half or more of the food shown being unhealthy. Neither of these seem to quite prove or disprove that children’s programs are leading to obesity. Of course, in watching television, not only is one watching the program, but sitting through the commercials.

People tend to neglect this fact and stick to blaming the children’s television programs instead of looking towards the children’s commercials. These commercials have been proven to consist of almost all unhealthy foods (at least in the past – currently they are moving more towards healthier foods because of the overall scare of children’s obesity in our society). A semi-current study was taken by Powel in 2007 that showed “98 percent of the food commercials view by children aged 2 to 11 and 89 percent of those viewed by children aged 12 to 17 were for products high in fat, sugar, or sodium” (Korr 451).

These numbers have most likely lowered in the past few years due to all the current attempts to help our ever-growing obese society, but never the less – this is still quite important. Another relatively recent study on children’s commercials was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2007. After studying thousands of children’s food advertisements, they found that “34 percent of the foods in those ads were for candy and snacks, 28 percent were for cereal, 10 percent were for fast food, 4 percent were for dairy products, 1 percent were for fruit juices, and none were for fruits or vegetables” (Korr 458).

Although it is not split into simply unhealthy and healthy categories, one can easily agree that well over half, maybe two-thirds of the advertisements were of unhealthy foods. This only helps strengthen that a good majority of advertisements during children’s programming are of unhealthy foods. Now that children’s programming and the advertisements during have been covered, only one category remains: Children’s Cartoons. Since it is a relatively hard subject to study, since cartoons aren’t always realistic, not much research has been done.

Korr however, watched thirty-two children’s cartoons on a total of three cable and two broadcast networks. He found that “35 percent of the foods referenced visually or verbally were sweets and salty snacks, 6 percent were breads and cereals, 18 percent were meats, 5 percent were dairy products, and 22 percent were fruits and vegetables (including fruit juice)” (Korr 458). So as far as Children’s Cartoons; surprisingly, one-fifth to one-fourth of all of the foods referenced are fruits and vegetables, and less than one-half of all of the foods referenced are unhealthy.

This differs slightly from unanimated children’s programs with more fruits and vegetables and 20-25 percent less unhealthy foods. Compared to the more closely monitored Saturday children’s programs, which consist of unanimated and animated shows, there are considerably more sweets and slightly less vegetables overall in children’s cartoons. Korr also found that children’s Cable channels accounted for most of the food references as well as “98 percent of the references to sweets, 91 percent of the references to salty snacks, and 91 percent of the references to fruits and vegetables” (Korr 459).

He also found the lowest frequency of unhealthy foods in the Saturday morning programs that were always ridiculed for sending out poor nutritional messages. This only helps prove the point that Saturday morning programs are more closely monitored seeing as they have the least reference to food, as well as the least reference to unhealthy food. So now, we could almost definitively say that warnke and Albrecht’s studies could be ignored for the purpose of this analysis. After looking at all of these different studies, one can deduct a few things.

First, children’s programs aired on cable seem to be more likely to have more foods referenced or shown, which of course leads to more unhealthy foods. Second, children’s programs aired on Saturdays seem to be more likely to have less foods referenced or shown, with more fruits and vegetables than sweets and salty foods. Third, children’s programs aired on the weekdays tend to have more sweets involved. And last, children’s advertisements all seem to show a majority of unhealthy foods.

In general, it seems that children’s advertisements are the major problem in showing unhealthy foods. As far as children’s programming, Cartoons seem to show more unhealthy foods than unanimated series, and depending on what time and network the program is aired on will make a difference on what one will see. One solution to this, stated by Korr, would be to use a DVR (digital video recorder), such as TiVo, to record the programs, and then fast-forward or skip through the commercials, thereby eliminating a good amount of the unhealthy foods shown during children’s programming.

However this does not seem quite necessary. It seems, based on these studies, that if one limits them self to Saturday programming, one will eliminate a good amount of the advertisements and the shows with unhealthy foods referenced and shown. Also watching broadcast as opposed to cable network shows appears to cut down the amount as well. As a last resort, if a child must watch television, a DVR would be a relatively good solution.

Free Essays

Fast Food and Obesity

Obesity is a growing problem in America that has serious consequences for us and our children. Some would argue this growing predicament is due to the poor choices made by the fast food industries and the unhealthy foods they have available to the public. Others like the Center for Consumer Freedom, would argue that it is not only their choice to eat healthy or unhealthy but also every individuals right as Americans to make that choice without the interference of our government . Where exactly does that leave the children of America though?

Children are taught to obey their parents and/or guardians and to do as they are told. If parents are feeding their children unhealthy food the children really don’t have a say in it because they only know what they are taught. It is our responsibility to make the right choices for our children and ourselves. Making healthy choices for ourselves set the right example and image we need for our children to follow in as well at a young age so that as they grow they will continue to make those choices for themselves. Blame the fast food industry.

David Zinczenko states that we are not at fault for the increase in obesity over the years, which in fact is growing much higher at a more rapid pace in the twenty-first century than in the past and is only expected to get worse. Fast food industries such as McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s are being blamed for the poor choices in foods they are serving the American public. These places are on every street corner and to easy to access for the busy American family on the run. Some argue that it is their fault for serving cheaply made processed foods at cheap prices.

There have also been many complaints about the nutrition facts. They should give nutrition facts for each item being served in some opinions. In Los Angeles they went as far as stopping the opening of new fast-food restaurants in the poorer communities so that they could control the eating of unhealthy foods for lower cost, causing people to eat less fast food and more home-cooked meals. How can we blame the fast-food industries for our obesity when we are the ones choosing to go to these places and eat the food.

Yes, you can find cheap food at these places, but that is because it is cheaply made. It is also possible to find healthy foods at cheaper prices as well. You don’t have to shop only at your neighborhood high priced store to find a healthy meal. Processed foods, however, are high in fatty meats and sugars which are cheaper to make than better cuts of meat and fresh foods. You pay for what you get, simple as that. We would be back fighting these industries if they were serving us cheap products at expressive prices.

Taking these drive-thru restaurants away from us will only cause us to drive further away to get what we want. Also, nutrition facts are posted inside these establishments. If we chose not to go inside where we can look at these facts you always have the option to go on any of their websites where we can also find and print if you so chose any nutrition facts for the items they are selling. Lawsuits have been filed against fast food restaurants all over the United States, claiming that they have caused Americas obesity problem.

According to the U. S. Surgeon General, in 2001 Obesity killed about 300,000 Americans and cost about 100 billion dollars a year. The government wants to hold the fast food industries responsible for these numbers. Other lawsuits have come out because people feel that if someone with cancer could sue the tobacco industries for getting cancer, people with health problems caused by obesity should be able to push the issue of their obesity on to the fast food industry for causing their illnesses as well.

Although these illnesses are very different from one another, they both can cause death in some cases if not treated. These lawsuits are not getting very far due to the fact that at the end of the day Ronald McDonald is not holding anyone down forcing them to stuff their faces full of deep fried chicken nuggets or greasy, French-fries covered in salt. It is our choice to get into our cars and drive to these restaurants just as it is our choice to wait in line and order that whooper with a large coke. Part of being in America is having the freedom to make choices for ourselves.

Pointing the blame at others is much easier than looking at ourselves and realizing that we are becoming obese and have health problems caused by unhealthy foods because of the choices we have made for ourselves. Fast food is not only found at the drive-thru diners with the golden arches or the giant burgers in front of their buildings although they are the most common thing we think of when we hear the term “fast food“. Fast food is any food that is quick, convenient, and inexpensive for the most part.

It can be bought just about anywhere that sells food and snacks. Vending machines play a huge part in bad food choices. They are found in most offices and schools for people on the go to grab a quick bite. Twenty-four hour convenience stores are probably the most common places to find fast food but we don’t usually think of it as fast food because it isn’t sold threw a drive-thru restaurant. These foods are so popular because for under five dollars you can usually get a meal that may not be the healthiest choice but will fill you up.

However, although fast food is inexpensive it is only that way because it is made with cheaper ingredients. It is time to take some responsibility for our actions. Not only are we hurting ourselves by choosing the fast and easy route of no exercise and fast food for meals instead of home cooked ones but we are hurting our children as well. Parents are role models for their children. No matter what we tell our children about “do as I say not as I do” , you are the sole person they look up to at young ages and they will learn from your actions.

Serving our children “junk foods” at young ages is only preparing them for a future of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, bone and joint problems, liver and gall bladder disease, and many other health risks. Children who are obese tend to sexually mature at an earlier age than their peers also. This can cause irregular mensal cycles in girls and can cause fertility problems for them later in life as they reach adulthood. Why are we putting our children through this physical torture when we can easily prevent it?

Not only are we setting our children up for physical health problems but it has also been proven to cause many other problems as well. Although eating healthy is extremely important, exercise is also very critical as well. An obese child in most cases suffers from shortness of breath which makes physical activity such as sports or exercise more difficult. Children who are not active have no way of ever changing their health problems. Overweight children are at risk for developing mental health problems as well. Most children who are overweight are not happy with their weight but don’t always know how to change it in a healthy manner.

This can lead children to develop unhealthy dieting habits and eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia. Studies have also shown that they are more prone to substance abuse problems later in life as well so we need to be thinking of not just how these unhealthy foods are affecting our children now but what it will do to them as they grow to adults too. Overweight children are commonly diagnosed with depression. This is not just something that these children can just snap out of. Depression is a serious illness that causes harm to us mentally and physically.

The World Health Organization estimates that depression will be the second-leading cause of disability by the year 2020. We need to do all that we can to prevent our children from being exposed to these feelings and disabilities. There is no such thing as a “bad” food. All foods can fit into a healthy meal plan. Some foods just need to be eaten in moderation more so than others. Even though fast food is usually high in calories and fats along with many other unhealthy things such as sodium and others, eating it every once in a while is not going to cause health problems.

It is when you eat too much fast food over a long period of time and are not eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables along with home cooked meats that these problems start to occur. We as parents need to take responsibility for our children’s health now so that they are prepared and able to make the right choices for themselves when they become adults and have children of their own. We need to change the obesity problem in America but we need to do so by making the healthier choices ourselves and not put the blame on the industries that serve us unhealthy foods.

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Research Proposal on Obesity

About one in five American kids is overweight enough to be considered obese (Parr 45). Obesity being 20% or more overweight, is considered a disease because it is associated with so many health problems, like heart disease and diabetes. Being obese as a child usually leads into being obese through adulthood. “One third of adults are obese, and a third of these got that way in childhood” (Parr 53). That is why it is so important to keep kids from becoming overweight and to help obese kids lose weight.

The increasing number of obese parents, technology, children having no supervision after school, and the unhealthy content of school lunches are to blame for the increasing number of overweight kids in the United States. A majority of the information used in writing this paper came from obesity source books, magazine articles, and websites devoted to helping children lose weight. Decades ago children would play tag, ride bikes, and participate in other outdoor after school activities following a nutritious snack prepared for them by one of their parents.

Today, most children come home to an empty house, snack on any junk they can find, and watch television or play video games until their parents get home hours later. With no supervision, who can blame them? The foods offered at schools have changed as well. Candy, chips, and soda are a favorite of most children when eating their school lunch. Vending machines are now in most cafeterias today too, making it even easier for children to snack before and after lunch.

America is one of the most overweight populations in the world, and we all wonder why. The following paper examines the root causes of this public health problem, answers the question of “why”, and offers possible solutions, to this crisis. Society as a whole is more overweight than ever before, causing their poor eating and exercising habits to be passed down onto their children.

Of course genetics plays a part in some cases of obesity children, but for the most part, it is really more an issue of the habits that kids pick up from their parents. If both parents are obese, their child has an 80% chance of being obese, if one parent is obese, their child has a 40% chance of being obese, and if neither parent is obese, their child has only a 5% chance of being obese” (Bray 68). Shared family behaviors such as eating and activity habits influence a childs body weight. When a child sees their mom or dad eating unhealthy foods all the time, and snacking throughout the day, that child will get used to that eating pattern and follow in the footsteps of their parents.

Overweight parents also tend to cook high calorie foods and order out more than thinner parents. This is bad because not only does that child eat foods high in fat throughout their whole childhood, but they also pick up the high-fat style of cooking as well. If a parent is overweight, it might not be as huge of a priority for them to get their child into shape. Even if it is, the extent to which they can exercise with them is limited. It is a key factor when your child is overweight to get them active as well as to cut down the amount of fat in their diet.

But you must carefully cut down the fat in their diet. Reducing fat is a good way to cut calories without depriving your child of nutrients. Simple ways to cut the fat in your family’s diet include eating low-fat or even better, non-fat dairy products, poultry without the skin, and lean meats, and low-fat or fat-free breads and cereals. Making small changes to your family’s diet is a good, healthy way to help your child lose weight. It is also good to involve your child in food shopping and preparing meals. This teaches children about nutrition, and gives them a feeling of accomplishment.

Physical education is only part of the solution. “Just as parents reinforce good reading habits, they also should encourage their children to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives” according to Judy Young, executive director of NASPE. The national Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) in Reston, Va. , recently issued guidelines recommending that children ages six to eleven exercise a minimum of thirty to sixty minutes per day. The problem with this is that in today’s lifestyle, it is the norm for both parents to have careers and work full time.

This means that they’re children will come home to an empty house after school. Our society consists of households where both parents work and their children are left to fend for and feed themselves after school. According to a new Urban Institute report, “An estimated four million grade-school age children are regularly without adult supervision. “ Another shocking fact is that in California, six percent of 6-9 year olds and thirty two percent of 10 – 12 year olds average five hours unsupervised each week, or with a sibling under the age of 13.

Research shows that children who spend a lot of time alone are more likely to have social and academic problems (HHS Press Office). When children come home from school the first thing on their agenda is food. What does the normal everyday child reach for when mom and dad aren’t around? A nutritious snack, or the cookie jar and a bag of Doritos. Marvin Moss, Capital-Journal columnist, states that “To many of you, This may not seem like a major event, but put yourself in a kid’s shoes. “

“I know when mine come home from school, the first thing they want is food. “ “I call their after school eating habit pre-dinner. “If one of us parents wasn’t home when they arrived home from school, how would they be made to eat a healthy pre-diner snack? “ Snacks take up most of the calories in children’s diets and lead to them becoming overweight. “Total daily intake from snacks among children has risen from an average of 450 to 600 in the last two decades” ,according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While some snacks are healthy for children and give them nutrients and energy, most snacks are usually a source of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods like soda, potato chips, and cookies.

After they have picked out their snack, they go for the television and sit on the couch while all of their favorite shows come on. Its either the television or the computer or multiple video games. There are so many alternative choices for kids nowadays other than physical activities. There is always a new video game or an upgraded computer toy, and not to mention all of the new shows that come out every season. Along with the hundreds of shows that kids watch after school come the numerous food commercials advertising pizza, soda, and candy making kids minds turn to food yet again.

Technology has advanced so much in the last few decades coming out with many new high-tech, entertaining things for kids to play with. All of the new technology is fascinating, but is it a coincidence that America’s weight problem is expanding along side all the new technology coming out? NO. It is no coincidence. “In America, kids spend an average of 21 hours per week in front of the television, and if a child adds 5 hours to that per week, he or she is ten percent more likely to become obese” (Parr 97). Children are larger because American life has changed.

More children sit in front of video monitors than on bicycles or playing sports. According to a Nielsen Media Research Report, “Aside from the time kids spend watching television ,they spend another three to four hours daily with the internet and video games” (Karas 47). According to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Center for Health Statistics, in 1999 over 9 million –or 15 percent– of American children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 18 were overweight, or triple what the percentage was in 1990” (Parenting Today ).

This problem is going to continue to rise over the years if our country doesn’t put more effort into stopping it. Leaving your child unattended after school and during the summer is a factor not as harmless as everyone thought. Lois Salsbury, president of Children Now, states that “While the United States has restructured its economy, analysis of the impact on working families is still in its infancy. ” “Hundreds of thousands of children are spending time alone. ” “Is this what we want in terms of safety and developing our children? ” Our nation is developing as our parenting skills are deteriorating.

We want so much to be wealthy and powerful that we neglect to realize what it is doing to our children. Parents need to realize what is happening to their children and gain control over what their kids eat and how much time they spend sitting around if this problem is going to be reversed. Another area that needs focusing on is the food available for kids to buy while at school. U. S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, has declared childhood obesity a national epidemic (Mayer 23). The Oakland School District banned the sale of sugary drinks and candy in vending machines.

The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the country, followed several weeks later (27). School lunches are not meeting up to the nutritious standards that they should. Vending machines are in almost every elementary school offering kids the opportunity to eat candy, chips, and soda at any time of the school day. The lunches offered usually have one healthy meal and the rest consist of things like pizza, cheese steaks, and mozzarella sticks.

Is this what we want our kids eating all day? Legislators introduced several bills aimed at eefing up physical education requirements and fixing up school lunch programs. Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill in October that prohibits the sale of junk food in elementary schools and bans soda at middle schools (32). This needs to be done everywhere. There is no questions that school meal programs have a powerful influence on children’s future food choices. ” More than half of youth in the United States eat one to three major meals in school” (Owl 27). Adequate nutrition throughout the day plays an important performance at school and enables children to make wise choices when eating.

Kids who go hungry or are only allowed a hurried meal through the morning or afternoon are likely to arrive at home after school extremely hungry. This can lead to overeating particularly high-fat, easy to prepare snack foods. This pattern of behavior is difficult to change and can lead to obesity. “Providing healthy meals at a pleasant environment at school is an important part of obesity prevention“ (29). Many school lunch programs offer fast food as an alternative. Limit your childs participation in unhealthy school lunch programs.

Parents should ban together and speak with their school boards about improving school lunch programs. School districts should remove the vending machines from their schools and make the lunches offered healthier. So much money is spent every year on obesity programs for children and all that money could be saved if schools would just do their part in solving the problem. “There is no more compelling reminder of the health implications than the $127 million spent each year in hospital costs related to childhood obesity“, according to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention.

Some things are being done to start solving the problem but not enough. If everyone works together this battle can be overcome. The increasing number of obese parents, technology, unsupervised children after school, and unhealthy school lunches are to blame for the increasing number of overweight kids in the United States. These factors can all be helped and prevented. This problem must be fixed before it gets worse. Our nation must united and work together for the sake and well being of our children.

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The Argument on Obesity Being a Disease

Brad Ward English 152 Dr. Reiter 10/13/2011 The Argument on Obesity being a Disease Roughly, in the United States, there are 60 million people with the problem of obesity. Uniquely, this disease affects women in the United States more than men. Obesity is a problem because both men and women of all ages are exposed to a large amount of food in their everyday lives. He or she should lose weight because Obesity it can bring on a lot of health issues. This issue is a “big’’ problem in the U.

S and that issue is why some people say that they believe obesity is a disease and why another set of people that think a person chooses to live the lifestyle of obesity. One reason some people have problems with obesity is they live very convenient lives. “Does the family have clearly stated rules and are punishments logical consequences for rules that are broken (Kelly D. Brownell & John P. Foreyt)? ” Many people don’t have to exercise and do not eat healthily at all.

Most people take the easy way by taking elevators instead of climbing the stairs, or if they are hungry they go to a fast food restaurant instead of preparing a low fat meal at home. For example, in my family if nobody wants to cook, we usually go out and pick up something to eat, usually high calorie fast food. People today can also become so busy they don’t even attempt to exercise or eat health foods. The reason I know this is because I am busy almost every day. With school work, my job, and family duties I find little time for exercise or food preparation.

Eating healthily and staying fit is a lifestyle that everyone needs to switch over to so they can have more energy and also live longer. Most of the time it is not people’s choices that make them obese; it is either hereditary or a slow body metabolism. ‘’Obesity has become a highly contentious issue in part because the United States not only has one of the highest obesity rates in the world but has also led the industrial transformation of society to produce the ‘toxic environment’ now accepted by most governments as the problem” (WPT James S125). Obesity is so toxic that octors are finding obesity is liked with depression. ”We found that a self reported doctor diagnosis of depression was modestly associated with obesity, as well as significant genetic components to depression and obesity in female twins(Afari, Niloofar). ” Sometimes a certain gene in people’s bodies can cause them to be obese. For example, most of my family is big boned people. Some people have hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid. This condition can make a person sluggish and out of energy so they will not be able to exercise or eat healthily.

With obesity, many restrictions follow, for example wearing certain sized clothing, or assigned particular seat on a bus, plane, or amusement park ride. If a person is obese they usually have a hard time to find clothes. For instance, most of time my dad goes to Shreveport to the Big & Tall men store. This is where he buys his shirts and pants at cheap price. This group of people feels that being obese is a lifestyle and that too much cost goes into providing the coverage for obesity.

But yet, people in the middle school system give Body /Mass index exams. “Doctors use the BMI mainly to categorize patients, into ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’, using either data from reference populations or drawing upon the U-shaped association between BMI and both, morbidity and mortality (Muller, M. J. ). ” So, why does the government not help do something for obesity? I believe that government is holding out on us and we can’t do anything about it unless we elect people that can fight on our behalf.

This is the one problem that gets to me because the government has the guts to sent all are jobs overseas but they are so skeptical about helping us as American to pay to “knockout” this obesity propbelm. Obesity can affect a lot of people’s health by causing diabetes, sleep disorders, heart complications, and breathing problems. For instance, a man named Joe who appeared on the TV show The Biggest Looser started the program weighing at 450 pounds and having to take medication for his health problems.

He stayed on the show for three weeks and he lost a whopping 215 pounds. Since he lost all of that weight he did have to take the medication anymore. If people worked on having the will power to exercise and eat healthily, they could have more energy and not feel exhausted. I know it is not always people’s fault for being obese but that does not mean they have to stay fat for the rest of their lives. All we need to is keep positive and Believe we can fight the better life.

If a person was to take their time and try it out they might get good results. Work cited (James, W. P. T. ). “WHO recognition of the global obesity epidemic. ” International Journal of Obesity 7 (2008): S125 (Kelly D. Brownell and John P. Foreyt). “Handbook of Eating Disorder” Basic Books, Inc. 513 (1986): 432 (Afari, Niloofar). ” Depression & Anxiety (1091-4269); Sep2010, Vol. 27 Issue 9, p799-806, 8p, 1 Diagram, 4 Charts (Muller, M. J. ). “Obesity Reviews; Aug2010, Vol. 11 Issue 8, p612-618, 7p, 2 Graphs

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Obesity and Cancer Risk

According to the National Cancer Institute, obesity is a condition in which a person has an abnormally high and unhealthy proportion of body fat. Obesity is measured by calculating a person’s BMI. Years of research prove that there are connections between obesity and cancer risk. Research shows us that an increase in body weight increases insulin levels in the blood, which promote the development of certain tumors and tumor regulators. Fat cells also produce adipokine hormones, which stimulate cell growth.

Leptin, which is abundant in obese people, acts on a receptor on the brain where a person exhibits appetite and promotes cell proliferation, or cell growth. Essentially, excess body weight is the catalyst for hormones in the body to not function properly while additionally promoting cell growth, which is the major cause of cancer spread. In 2007 research found 34,000 new cases of cancer in men and 50,500 new cases in women due to obesity. It is estimated that 1:5 cancer related deaths are due to overweight and obesity.

Obesity is associated with several cancers in the body, including in the esophagus, pancreas, colon and rectum, kidney, thyroid, gallbladder, breast (after menopause) and endometrium (the lining of the uterus). Weight gain affects the body’s immune system, certain hormones including insulin and estrogen, and factors that regulate cell division. Scientists in the American Cancer Society admit that research is limited in learning whether or not weight loss can reduce cancer risk.

There is growing evidence to suggest that a reduction in weight may diminish the risk of breast cancer, after menopause, as well as more aggressive forms of prostate cancer. However, obese people who lose weight often reduce certain hormone levels that relate to cancer risk, such as insulin and estrogen. Cites: National Cancer Institute http://www. cancer. gov The American Cancer Society http://www. cancer. org The PubMed Data base http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pubmed

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Obesity in China

Obesity in China? From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search A McDonald’s Chinese New Year meal. American fast-food outlets have been blamed for the increase in obesity in China. [1] Obesity in China is a major health concern according to the WHO, with overall rates of obesity below 5% in the country, but greater than 20% in some cities. [2] This is a dramatic change from times when China experienced famine as a result from ineffective agriculturalization plans such as the Great Leap Forward. 3] Currently, obesity in China is mostly confined to the cities where fast food culture and globalization have taken over, in comparison to poorer rural areas. Despite this concentration of obesity, the sheer size of China’s population means that over one fifth of all one billion obese people in the world come from China. [4] Contents  [hide]  * 1 Issues * 2 Response and prospects * 3 Action and Policy * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Further reading * 7 External links| [edit] Issues

Statistics from the Chinese Health Ministry have revealed that urban Chinese boys age 6 are 2. 5 inches taller and 6. 6 pounds heavier on average than Chinese city boys 30 years ago. A leading child-health researcher, Ji Chengye, has stated that, “China has entered the era of obesity. The speed of growth is shocking. “[1] Economic expansion and the increase in living standards as a result has seen food intake increase on average in the cities and the growth of automation and transport has seen less physical labor.

Rapid motorization has drastically reduced levels of cycling and walking in China. A 2002 report has revealed a direct correspondence between ownership of motorized transport by households in China and increasing obesity related problems in children and adults. [5] The introduction of processed foods through globalisation in China and the problem of obesity is a recent phenomenon, as only 45 years ago the country faced starvation during the leadership of Mao Zedong. [1] However while malnutrition has been mostly ended in cities today, millions of rural poor, especially in rural estern China are still a far cry from the problem facing the cities. [1] The problem is affecting the young generations although some sources indicate the problem is worse with those between 35 and 59 where more than half are now overweight in cities, a figure similar to that in industrialised countries. [6] However, they state that the younger generations are increasingly at risk. Today, 8% of 10- to 12-year-olds in China’s cities are considered obese and an additional 15% are overweight, according to Chinese Ministry of Education. 1] Similarly, A 2006 study conducted by University of Southern California found that the average body fat of Hong Kong Children was 21 percent, an alarmingly high number. [7] [edit] Response and prospects A KFC outlet in Hohhot, China According to Wang Longde, the Chinese vice health minister, the problem is that the population does not have enough awareness and lacks knowledge of nutrition and what constitutes a reasonable diet. [8] The government is attempting to reduce the problem with building more playgrounds and passing a law with requires students to exercise or play sports for an hour a day at school. 1] Chen Chunming, an expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention has warned against the rapid growth of American fast-food outlets in China saying, “Don’t take children to eat fast food like McDonald’s and KFC. “[1] De-emphasis on sports also plays an important part in the rise of obesity in China. Many Chinese people look at the way they advance in life is getting a better education so they can get a better job. The heavy emphasis on schoolwork and the pressure to do so much into that direction keeps children away from play and from physical activity. 7] Fat farms, where children try to sweat off their excess weight have grown since the 1990s. In 2000, 100 million people were reported to suffer from high blood pressure and 26 million with diabetes. These figures were expected to double within a decade, with doctors warning that obesity could become China’s biggest health threat for future generations. [6][9] [edit] Action and Policy Due to the current cultural views on obesity there is a significant need for anti-obesity education.

Obesity is often associated with prosperity, thus there is a need for a widespread attitude shift to decrease the current rising rates. Perhaps resulting from the famines of generations past, food, specifically high-fat foods, are now seen as a luxurious item. With growing incomes in Chinese society, families are not able to afford these unhealthy but highly desired foods resulting in increasing rates of consumption of high-fat diets. [10] As a major contributor to the spread of obesity, these high-fat diets are creating a major public health problem across the country.

There are currently a few initiatives in place that could help combat this problem, but because of its magnitude, it is likely that more improvements are needed. The Chinese Nutrition Society[1] is providing nutrition education by creating dietary guidelines to help consumers make more healthy lifestyle choices. These guidelines become useful in assisting the population in adopting healthy eating habits which can be an important preventative measure against obesity. Additionally, the Chinese government is currently mandating programs in schools to deal with the growing problem of obesity in the younger generations. Eat Smart at School” is a campaign that was launched during the 2006-2007 school year, which aims to cultivate healthy eating practices to promote lifestyle changes in the educational setting. This program is also an important key in teaching healthy lifestyle strategies that can promote long-term changes in these children’s lives. [2] Localizing community based interventions could help address the large, diverse population in China. China is currently trying to utilize community based interventions through The National Plan of Action for Nutrition in China[3].

This demonstrates an extensive framework organizing food-based policies relating to the country’s nutrition and health issues. Some of the policies work towards promoting healthy diets and lifestyles while also providing incentives to food growers. Implementing nationwide social programs on public nutrition through mass media, public campaigns and community based promotions are potentially effective mediums towards combating obesity in China. China’s centralized government has a unique ability to make rapid policy changes where they can enforce public nutrition policy and regulate food supply.

The rapid growing market of fast food chains is a huge contributor to the increase in obesity rates in China. Potentially, a price policy could be a strategic model for raising the price on “unhealthy” foods in an attempt to shift food consumption patterns to accomplish health objectives and reduce the consumption of high fat foods. Through price policy, China can focus on controlling the external influence of international products on traditional Chinese dietary patterns and help manage the obesity trends and patterns due to the increase of Westernized foods and fast food chains

Obesity in China: Waistlines are Expanding Twice as Fast as GDP???????? :?????????? China is experiencing a record high obesity rate, which means millions are becoming obese each year.????????????? , ????????? “?? ” by Sky Patterson Date Published: 04/08/2011 Photo by ernop. Used under Creative Commons. In the U. S, we’re used to hearing about our massive weight crisis – with more than 74 percent of adults age 15 and older classified as overweight, the American culture and media landscape have become fixated on finding new diets, procedures, and lifestyle changes to address the dilemma.

But what is rapidly becoming apparent is that we are not the only country coping with our expanding waistlines. In China, the prevalence of being overweight is actually dramatically outpacing the growth of its GDP. According to the World Bank, China’s US $4. 99 trillion GDP in 2009 was a remarkable 181 percent increase from its 2005 GDP (US $2. 75 trillion). The number of obese people in China is growing even faster. There are nearly 100 million obese people in China today, more than five times the number in 2005, when 18 million were obese. The definition of being overweight is having a body mass index of 25 or greater.

According to the World Health Organization’s Global Info Database, for those ages 15 and older, 45 percent of males in China and 32 percent of females were overweight, or an average of 38. 5 percent of the 2010 population. This is a sharp increase from the 2002 statistic of 25 percent. With an overweight percentage of 38 percent and rising, mainland China is home to a staggering 380 million-plus people with weight problems. And studies show that the problem is becoming increasingly prevalent among youth, and may largely define urban China’s near-term future.

Robert Girandola, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Southern California, conducted a 2006 study, titled “Prevalence of Obesity and Body Composition in Hong Kong Children,” researching the body fat percentage of 3,000 nine-year-olds. He found that the average body fat of these children was 21 percent, an alarmingly high number. “These are pre-pubertal [children], and pre-pubertal you should not see numbers like that,” says Girandola. He also added that the problem will only grow worse as these children start to develop symptoms of the chronic diseases associated with obesity, including diabetes and high blood pressure.

In addition to diabetes and high blood pressure, other serious health implications related to obesity include a higher risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The latter disease is rapidly becoming more prominent in China. A March 2010 New England Journal of Medicine study estimated that 9. 7 percent of the country’s population has diabetes, a figure that is close to that of the U. S. at 11 percent; another American Diabetes Association study found similar rates in both countries. Also notable is that of these diabetes cases in China, 60. 7 percent went undiagnosed.

The majority of these cases are Type II late onset diabetes, which is directly correlated with being overweight; obesity has been found to contribute to approximately 55 percent of Type II diabetes cases. Source: American Diabetes Association, The Associated Press Paul French, co-author of the recent book Fat China, which chronicles the growing problem of obesity in China, claims that the actual diabetes rate may be as high as 16 percent, with 150 million additional people categorized as pre-diabetic, putting them at a high risk for developing Type II diabetes. There are people in China who say with acupuncture and traditional medicine you can cure diabetes, but there is no proof of that either,” says French. “Diabetes is something that once you’ve got it, you’ve got it and you have to manage it the rest of your life. ” According to a 1992 China National Nutrition Survey, the percentage of men and women classified as overweight, or with a BMI greater than 24, was 17. 4 percent. The government agenda at that time was to gauge the prevalence of underweight individuals, but what they found at the other end of the spectrum ended up being a surprising trend that has continued ever since.

The same survey conducted 10 years later in 2002 showed that 29 percent of individuals were overweight, a 66. 7 percent increase. | | What is causing the Chinese population to grow overweight at such an alarming rate? Contrary to the U. S. where obesity is concentrated more heavily among poorer people, China’s obesity problem is largely defined by what French terms a “wealth-deficit” problem. Specifically, the richer you get, the fatter you are. In rural China, the prevalence of being overweight and having diabetes is naturally lower. However, in the cities, a larger number of people own cars and televisions.

Not only are these luxuries symbols of wealth, but they also greatly decrease physical activity, resulting in higher rates of obesity and diabetes in urban areas. Athena Foong, an epidemiology researcher at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Global Health explains, “It’s a very communal thing in Asia, if you see someone having that, you want to have that too; so if they’re telling you that, we just enjoyed a super duper meal at McDonald’s and that becomes a fanciful thing to do, you want to do it too. ” But what about physical activity and sports in China?

Peaking during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China has been making large strides on the international sports front. However, among the general population, this is not necessarily the case. As French says, “With the Olympics in China, rather than encouraging more people to take part in sport, it basically sent out the message that sport was an elite activity, and if you play sports, you better win gold medals; the idea of just a bunch of kids running around playing games was considered a waste of time. ” Foong also adds that this de-emphasis on sports and physical activity starts from childhood, and carries on to later life. The only way people look at the way you advance in life is getting a better education so you can get a better job, and sports is not considered a job. ” Parents may dote on their only children, but they also hold them to high academic standards in order to achieve a better life. “It’s not that they want to force their kids into going to school, and then doing these extra school classes, and on the weekends having a tutor,” explains Foong. “It’s just the pressure to do so much into that direction and away from play, from physical activity, from all that. This emphasis on schoolwork at the expense of play and organized sports parallels the rise in obesity in China. Foong adds that it is not merely as simple as telling parents, “You guys can just stop worrying too much about getting good grades because that’s the path that everyone’s already on; that train has already left the station. ” Two or three generations ago, China suffered a nutrition challenge. Many people suffered malnutrition, went hungry and were underweight. Fast-forward to the present and conditions are swiftly becoming the opposite.

In China’s larger cities, where roads were once exclusively filled with bikes, cars pack the streets 24 hours a day. And in addition to having more cars, city streets are also now lined with fast food restaurants, the ubiquity of which is one cause of obesity in China. It is easy to find a local McDonald’s, Pizza Hut or Starbucks ready to serve up fast food to the masses. In fact, Yum Brands, the parent company of fast food leaders such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and KFC, opened more than 500 restaurants in China in 2009, and expects to one day have more than 20,000 restaurants there.

Source: National statistical offices, Euromonitor International Alongside China’s meteoric economic rise and fast food market growth in the last two decades, the lifestyle of the Chinese people has changed dramatically. For example, aside from a greater array of food options, the Chinese are indulging their children because state policy has shrunk family sizes while economic progress has given urban families higher disposable incomes. Families and their children have become less active. These various changes have led to an equally fast climb in modern health problems.

Obesity is a plague facing the developed world that leads to other complications such as diabetes and hypertension, which place an enormous pressure on the healthcare system. And in China, much like the rest of the world, the problem is only growing. What are ordinary Chinese doing to solve the problem of growing waistlines? Put simply, not much. Or at least not much that seems to be working. Says French, “The three things that people are doing at the moment, none of these things are particularly sensible. Those three main things are unreasonable fat camps, which provide limited results for children using contrived and sometimes dangerous methods, unregulated and ineffective slimming pills that eliminate mainly body water, and cosmetic surgery – which treats the symptoms but not the problem. Solving the problem is not merely a matter of execution and practicality, but also a cultural and social one as well. One change that must take place is that people need to find ways to eat more healthily, especially since it is difficult to exercise enough to work off certain foods.

However, this is a lot easier said than done when the Chinese affinity for Western fast food brands is increasing, and on the flip side, Western companies are increasingly eager to tap into the Chinese market. Taking on a more active lifestyle is another important measure to help mitigate the problem. “The solution is very simple,” says Girandola. “People have to be more active. Is that going to happen? I doubt it. People are not going to go back to bicycles again, not when they basically have a car. ” So what can one expect from China in the near future?

There are many possible solutions, but when the public cares more about eating tasty and convenient food, climbing the socioeconomic ladder and relishing newfound wealth, nothing will come easily. Fast food is also not going to disappear. One example of this is a new trend that has emerged in Hong Kong, dubbed “McWeddings,” wherein local McDonald’s restaurants provide wedding reception services to young couples. Over the long term, in is also necessary to make school curriculum changes in schools to promote healthy habits. The key largely lies in children, who may be more able to pick up and maintain healthy habits than adults. Once you get overweight, it’s very hard to suddenly turn it around,” explains Girandola. “That’s why you got to solve it beforehand; people have to be proactive rather than reactive. ”  As China rapidly modernizes, it will inevitably encounter the problems that first-world countries face. Unfortunately, the arduous path to relieving China’s overweight problem and ensuing health issues will not be nearly as smooth as the road that got it there.??? Sky Patterson is a senior at the University of Southern California majoring in East Asian Languages and C

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Obesity in Todays Society

For good healthy long life, more energy and greater happiness, among many other benefits, the importance of regular exercise and a proper diet can’t be understated. These two factors together are the most pivotal to determining a person’s overall health, and adopting them both can make a dramatic difference in how you look and feel. Health Benefits According to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, a healthy diet means eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats and minimizing the consumption of cholesterol, sodium, sugar and saturated fat.

In conjunction with regular exercise, a healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers. For good health , long life, more energy and greater happiness, among many other benefits, the importance of regular exercise and a proper diet can’t be understated. These two factors together are the most pivotal to determining a person’s overall health, and adopting them both can make a dramatic difference in how you look and feel. Health Benefits According to the U.

S. Department of Health and Human Services, a healthy diet means eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats and minimizing the consumption of cholesterol, sodium, sugar and saturated fat. In conjunction with regular exercise, a healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers. Weight If you’re overweight, eating healthfully and exercising regularly can help you lose weight safely and keep it off.

And if you don’t have a weight problem, physical activity and a healthy diet can help you maintain your current weight and reduce your risk of gaining extra weight in future years. Healthy foods are generally lower in calories and higher in nutrients than other foods, and regular physical activity burns off extra calories and keeps your metabolism healthy. Energy According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a combination of working out and eating healthy foods can boost your energy level as well as help you feel more alert and aware, both mentally and physically.

Healthy foods give your body the nutrients and vitamins it needs to function at its best, and even though you use calories and energy through physical activity, the process actually increases the total amount of energy you have. Resolved Question Show me another » Can someone proofread my argumentative essay? Can someone proofread my argumentative essay? Feel free to make changes if needed. P. S. sorry if it seems long… In the United States, many people like to go out to dine at restaurants and fast food places on daily basics.

People can turn their head to the right and left and they could see someone next to them who is obese or overweight. “Approximately 22 million children under five years of age are overweight. During the past three decades, the number of overweight children in the Unites States has more than doubled. In 1983, 18. 6 percent of preschool children in the United States were defined as overweight, and 8. 5 percent were defined as obese; by 2000, 22. 0 percent of preschool children were overweight and 10. 0 percent were obese”(Decklbaum and Williams p. 39S). Childhood obesity is an “epidemic” in America as many children are either overweight or obese. The reasons for childhood obesity are lack of exercise, healthy eating and nutrition, health problems, and low self-esteem. The lack of exercise and physical activities is one reason for childhood obesity. Therefore, there are many elementary schools that do not have any physical education teachers to teach exercise. For example, many elementary schools would have teachers who have no background in physical education teach students about exercising.

Instead, they would tell students to go outside during class time about once a week to play kick ball or softball and that would be their exercise for the week. Another reason for not exercising is technology. Many children do not want to go outside to play with their friends, exercise or do any sport participation. They rather stay at home to chat with their friends over the Internet using Yahoo Messenger or AIM (software programs that allow people to chat with each other). They also rather stay at home and spend hours in front of a television playing video games and watching television shows like Rob and Big, CSI, and Sponge Bob. Television viewing often is considered one of the most modifiable causes of obesity in children. Children spend a substantial part of their lives in front of the television set. Recent parent-report and self-report data from a nationally representative sample of 3155 children indicate that 2- to 7-year-old children in the United States spend an average of approximately 2. 5 hours per day and 8- to 18-year-old children spend an average of about 4. 5 hours per day watching television and playing video games.

When these data are combined with typical sleep data from children, it is found that children in the United States are spending more than 25% of their waking hours in front of the television set” This shows that technology is a big influence on why children do not want to exercise or do any physical activities. Many children who are obese in America do not eat healthy or have proper nutrition. Now a day, many parents are busy with work so it is easier for them to drive to McDonald’s or Burger King’s to order some fast food meals along with soft drinks for their children.

Instead of cooking a meal and having their children drink water. In addition, these fast food restaurants like McDonald’s would try to convince their customer’s by asking them if they would like to “Supersize” their meals, so they can have larger portion of French fries and larger soft drink’s that would cost a few cents more. “As children’s body weights have increased, so has their consumption of fast foods and soft drinks. The proportion of foods that children consumed from restaurants and fast food outlets increased by nearly 300% between 1977 and 1996.

Children’s soft drink consumption has also increased during those years, and now soft drinks provide soft drink consumers 188 kcal/d beyond the energy intake of nonconsumers”. Proper nutrition is essential and yet many children are not consuming enough fiber per day. Instead, they are consuming less than 10 grams of fiber per day and less than 25 grams per day during adulthood. “A 5-year-old child should consume at least 10 g of fiber per day and fiber intake should approach adult levels (20–25 g per day) by 15 years of age.

Unfortunately, persons of all ages in the United States eat far fewer than the recommended number of servings of whole-grain products, vegetables, and fruits. In 1994 to 1996, only 3% of individuals 2 years of age consumed 3 daily servings of vegetables (with at least one third being dark green or orange vegetables), whereas only 7% consumed 6 daily servings of grains (with 3 being whole grains). Currently, dietary fiber intake throughout childhood and adolescence averages 12 g/day or 5 g/1000 kcal (4200 kJ), a level of intake that has not changed in the past 30 years.

Because total carbohydrate content has increased considerably during this period, most of this increase seems to be in the form of fiber-poor refined grains, starchy vegetables, and sugar-sweetened beverages” Mood Exercise stimulates brain chemicals that help produce feelings of happiness, contentment and relaxation, so you’ll feel better if you workout on a regular basis. According to the Mayo Clinic, physical activity also makes you look better, which is a significant factor in boosting self-confidence and inspiring a satisfied life.

Diversification Exercise and healthy eating can help make your life more diverse and interesting. You can seek creative ways to be physically active in your daily life and don’t have to stick with the same exercise routine all the time. The American Cancer Society suggests exercising with co-workers, going dancing with friends, playing on a sports team and spending active time with your kids and family members. Following a healthy diet can also bring up opportunities for home cooking, culinary classes, farmers’ market visits and more fun activities.

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Obesity Outline

Outline I. Introduction a. “Fictional person’s name”, age, weight, location… b. Job, hobbies, background intro information c. Family history/background info II. Obesity a. Definition- “a condition that is characterized by excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body and that in an adult is typically indicated by a body mass index of 30 or greater (Merriam-Webster’s medical dictionary) http://www2. merriam-webster. com/cgi-bin/mwmedsamp b. BMI- Body mass Index(abbreviation) i.

Definition- Merriam-Webster’s medical dictionary defines Body mass index as “a measure of body fat that is the ratio of the weight of the body in kilograms to the square of its height in meters (Merriam-Webster’s medical dictionary). http://www2. merriam-webster. com/cgi-bin/mwmedsamp c. Causes of obesity i. Taking in more calories than burning- “A lack of energy balance most often causes overweight and obesity. Energy balance means that your energy IN equals your energy OUT” (National heart lung and blood institute). http://www. hlbi. nih. gov/health/dci/Diseases/obe/obe_causes. html ii. Lack of physical activity iii. Bad eating habits iv. Eating for comfort, binge eating III. Environmental factors a. Access or lack of access to sidewalks and pathways for walking in neighborhood. b. Busy work schedule c. Convenience of fast food d. Restaurant food size portions e. Access to stores that offer fruits and vegetables f. TV commercials that advertise fast food, snacks that are high in fat IV. Family/inherited genes a. Genes b. Adopting habits of parents i.

Parents are overweight; child tends to adopt eating and physical activity habits. V. Health factors a. Hormone problems may cause obesity i. Hypothyroidism 1. Define: “Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by abnormally low thyroid hormone production. There are many disorders that result in hypothyroidism. These disorders may directly or indirectly involve the thyroid gland. Because thyroid hormone affects growth, development, and many cellular processes, inadequate thyroid hormone has widespread consequences for the body (Medicine. et). http://www. medicinenet. com/hypothyroidism/article. htm 2. “Cushing’s syndrome is a condition in which the body’s adrenal glands make too much of the hormone cortisol. Cushing’s syndrome also can develop if a person takes high doses of certain medicines, such as prednisone, for long periods IV. Other factors… a. Age- muscle loss can slow the rate of calorie burning b. Medications c. Emotional eating d. Smoking- when people quiet food tastes and smells better VI.

Health problems a. Coronary heart disease i. Definition b. High blood pressure c. Stroke d. Sleep apnea e. Gallstones VII. Solutions a. Exercise b. Healthy eating choices c. Portion control d. Support groups- A support group is formed by people who are dealing with common issues and “meet on an ongoing basis to cope with stress, give each other suggestions, provide encouragement, convey information, and furnish emotional support(Barker, 2003) (Kirst-Ashman, K. , 2011, p 116). “

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Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. The problem is global and is steadily affecting many low- and middle-income families particularly in the United States. The socioeconomic status of these families contributes to the childhood obesity epidemic. Summary of Article 1 The article, “Beliefs about the Role of Parenting in Feeding and Childhood Obesity among Mothers of Lower Socioeconomic Status” is a study that was conducted by Alison Kalinowski, Kylene Krause, Carla Berdejo, Kristina Harrell, Katherine Rosenblum, and Julie Lumeng.

The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior. The focus of the study was to examine beliefs about the role of parenting in feeding and childhood obesity among mothers of lower socioeconomic status. According to the study Children of lower socioeconomic status (SES) in the United States are more likely to be obese. The study focused on 91 mothers from different populations who were asked a series of questions ranging from meal schedules to rewarding children with food. The results of the study reflected three primary themes.

These themes are negative memories of being fed in childhood, maternal emotional investment in the child enjoying the meal, and attributing obesity in other people’s children to inept or neglectful parenting. Many of the mothers in this study attributed obesity to poor meal plans because their parents could not afford to provide a nutritious meal. Mothers in this study were also afforded the opportunity to reflect on how they were fed as a child and how it influences their relationships with their own children. Summary of Article 2

The article, “Effect of a two-year obesity prevention intervention on percentile changes in body mass index and academic performance in low-income elementary school children” is a study that was conducted by Danielle Hollar, PhD, MHA, Sarah E. Messiah, PhD, MPH, Gabriela Lopez-Mitnik, MPhil, MS, T. Lucas Hollar, PhD, Marie Almon, RD, MS, and Arthur S. Agatston, MD. The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2010. The focus of the study was to assess the effects of a school-based obesity prevention intervention that included dietary, curricula, and physical ctivity components on body mass index (BMI) percentiles and academic performance among low-income elementary school children. According to the article the prevalence of obesity remains high among all age and racial groups in the United States, particularly among African Americans, Hispanic and Mexican Americans, and low-income children. The article also states many factors affect a child’s school achievement including socioeconomic status and obesity. Schools play an integral part in improving the health of children and in turn academic performance.

The findings of the study concluded that school based interventions play an important part in the improvement of health among low-income children. Summary of Article 3 The article, “Healthcare providers’ perceptions of the factors contributing to infant obesity in a low-income Mexican American community is a study that was conducted by Susan L. Johnson, PhD, Lauren Clark, PhD, Kristen Goree, DPN, Mary O’Connor, MD, and and Lorena Marquez Zimmer, MS. This study was published in the Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing in 2008.

The focus of the study was to examine the perceptions of Mexican American infant feeding practices and obesity. Obesity affects 17% of school-age youth (6–19 years) and 11% of infants and toddlers (6–23months) in the United States. Over the last two decades obesity among Mexican American infants have drastically increased. Some of the socioeconomic factors affecting Mexican America factors are this community is their cultural background. Findings of the study showed that obesity in Mexican American infants are related to the belief that a chubby baby is a healthy baby.

Some of the other findings showed that obesity in Mexican American infants are related to the introduction of complementary foods early, extended family members’ infant feeding practices, offering infants high-calorie foods, and prolonged bottle feeding and sweet beverages. Summary of Article 4 The article, “Factors associated with obesity in Latino children: a review of the literature” is peer reviewed article that was conducted by Melanie L. Kornides, Panagiota Kitsantas, and Antonia Villarruel. The study was published in Hispanic Health Care International.

The purpose of this article was to review the current literature on the factors associated with overweight and obesity in Latino children, provide nursing implications, and suggest direction for future research. The findings of this review indicated that factors related to activity, diet, genetics, the environment, and acculturation influence overweight and obesity in Latino children. The strengths of the studies reviewed included analyses by Latino subgroup, large Latino sample sizes, and inclusion of both English and Spanish speakers.

Limitations included inadequate sample sizes in some studies and lack of data on potential confounding factors such as acculturation and immigration status. Future research is needed to determine how factors associated with obesity can be used in prevention efforts targeting Latino children. Summary of Article 5 The article, “Disparities in obesity and overweight prevalence among US immigrant children and adolescents by generational status” written by Singh and Kogan is a study that was published in the Journal Of Community Health.

The study examined the prevalence and socio-behavioral correlates of obesity and overweight among 46,707 immigrant and US-born children and adolescents aged 10-17 years. The 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health was used to estimate obesity and overweight prevalence among children in 12 immigrant groups, stratified by race/ethnicity and generational status. Logistic regression was used to examine immigrant differentials in the prevalence and odds of obesity and overweight. Summary of Article 6

The article, “Rising Social Inequalities in US Childhood Obesity, 2003–2007” written by Gopal K. Singh, Mohammad Siahpush, and Michael D. Kogan is a study that was published by Annals Of Epidemiology. The purpose of the study was to examine changes between 2003 and 2007 in obesity and overweight prevalence among U. S. children and adolescents 10 to 17 years of age from detailed racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups. According to the study, in 2007, 16. 4% of U. S. children were obese and 31. 6% were overweight. From 2003 to 2007, obesity prevalence increased by 10% for all U.

S. children but increased by 23%–33% for children in low- education, low-income, and higher unemployment households. The study found that social inequalities in obesity and overweight prevalence increased because of more rapid increases in prevalence among children in lower socioeconomic groups. Summary of Article 7 The article, “Prevalence and trends of severe obesity among US children and adolescents” written by Joseph A. Skelton, Stephen R. Cook, Peggy Auinger, Jonathan D. Klein, and Sarah E. Barlow is a study that was published in the Academic Pediatrics.

The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which the 2007 defini- tions for severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] $99th percentile for age and gender) and morbid obesity (BMI $40 kg/m2) affects different groups of American children and adolescents and has increased over time. Based on the results of the study it found that rates of severe childhood obesity have tripled in the last 25 years, with significant differences by race, gender, and poverty. This places demands on health care and community services, especially because the highest rates are among children who are frequently underserved by the health care system.

Summary of Article 8 The article, “Will our children survive us? The consequences of childhood obesity” written by N. Malek was published in the Journal of the Council on Nutrition. According to the article, up until the mid 2000s, obesity among the adult American population has been steadily rising culminating with a staggering 31 – 35% of Americans having a BMI greater than 30 and over 6% having a BMI of over 40. i Although that, in and of itself, is a cause for concern, the more alarming situation is the epidemic rise of children obesity that is quickly becoming the current trend.

The article also stated that that some of the factors contributing to childhood obesity are poor food choices and lack of exercise and physical activity. Summary of Article 9 The article, “Trends and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Severe Obesity Among US Children and Adolescents” written by CY Wang, SL Gortmaker, and EM Taveras was a study that was published by Nutrition in Clinical Practice. The purpose of the study was to describe the trends and racial/ethnic differences in prevalence of severe obesity among US children.

The study examined the height and weight measurements from US children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years using three National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. The findings of the study found that children of racial and ethnic minorities are at increased risk of obesity and its related comorbidities. Summary of Article 10 The article, “Active Generations: An Intergenerational Approach to Preventing Childhood Obesity” is a study conducted by Danilea Werner, PhD, James Teufel, Peter L. Holtgrave, and Stephen L. Brown and published in the Journal of School Health.

The study focused on an innovative program, Active Generations, an intergenerational nutrition education and activity program implemented in out-of-school environments (after school and summer camps). It utilized older adult volunteers to implement a version of the evidence-based childhood obesity prevention program, Coordinated Approach to Child Health, in 8 US cities. The results of the study found that students significantly increased their reported fruit and vegetable consumption post-program. It also concluded that Active Generations was a promising childhood obesity prevention program.

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Obesity Epidemic Among African American Women

Chapter II Review of Literature We know that the problem of obesity is a world-wide epidemic and is becoming an even greater threat to the United States. Currently the U. S is the world’s most obese country and with a large margin between second place (James, Leach, Kalamara, Shayegh 2001). America is also the front runner in a new trend: morbid obesity. Not only does America have the highest population of obese individuals, America also has the largest population of morbidly obese individuals (World Health Organization 2009).

Morbid obesity affects both males and females of all ages and ethnicities from different socioeconomic statuses, however, the Black female population that has been affected the most (Lorenzen, (2010). This trend of overweight Black American females has only recently become an epidemic (Davis, 2008). What if any factors played into this abrupt change in obesity levels of the Black-American woman? Obesity and BMI Obesity can be classified as a condition characterized by excessive body fat to the magnitude that is becomes detrimental to one’s health (Ho-Pham, et al. , 2010).

There are different methods to measuring ones body mass index with the more common methods being height to weight ratio measurement, waist to hip ratio measurement, skin fold tests, and bioelectrical impedance measurement. For most of these references BMI’s were calculated between a mixture of bioelectrical impedance and skin fold measurement tests. A person should have a BMI of 18. 5 to 24. 99 be considered “normal” (World Health Organization, 2010). Once a BMI reaches 30 or greater the individual is classified as obese. The term obesity is broken down into 3 different Body Mass Index (BMI) classifications. Having a BMI greater than 30. is considered Class I Obesity. A BMI greater than 35. 0 is considered Class II Obesity and a BMI greater than 40. 0 is Class III Obesity or morbid obesity (World Health Organization, 2000). The Obesity Epidemic Obesity is a worldwide epidemic (Deitel, 2003). 1 out of every 10 adults suffering from obesity worldwide (WHO, 2009) and this number will be doubled by 2015 (Withrow, Alter, 2011). Stemming from this large occurrence there are over 2. 5 million obesity related deaths worldwide each year (CDC 2011). However in America the problem is even greater in that 35. 7 percent of the adult population is obese (CDC 2011).

The most current figures available come from a 2005-2006 survey station that 6 percent of Americans suffer from morbid obesity (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2012). The obesity epidemic in the United States represents a critical public health crisis. The increase in obesity can be directly linked to the increase of other major health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, arthritis, and poor health status ( Mokdad, et al. , 2001). Not only does it encompass life threatening consequences such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases but it also results in major healthcare costs (Brown, et al. 2009). The United States spends upwards of $147 billion annually in obesity related healthcare costs (The Washington Post). The rise in obesity is giving way to a new epidemic- morbid obesity. Morbid Obesity and Women Morbid obesity is classified as having a BMI greater than 50. 0 (Strum, 2007). Like in obese people, morbid obese people see the same list of health complications such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, infertility and breathing problems such as asthma and sleep apnea to more severe problems such as diabetes and high premature mortality rates.

Both obesity and morbid obesity are a major problem in the United States. It is apparent that morbid obesity is on the rise in the U. S however it is more prevalent in women than in men. Morbid obesity tends to affect women more than men. Currently morbid obesity cases affect females 24% more than males and it is estimated that by the year 2020, 40. 2% of men will be obese with 3. 1% of that population being morbidly obese and 43. 3% of women will be obese with 5. 8% of that population being morbidly obese (C. J. Ruhm, 2007).

Morbid Obesity in Black-American Women Morbid obesity continues to rise throughout America however the most significant increase is seen in Black women. Over 78% of Black-American women are overweight or obese (Davis, 2008), and it is predicted that by 2030, 96. 9% of Black women will be either overweight or obese (Wang, et al. , 2008). In 2002 morbid obesity among Black-American women was more than double that among White and Mexican-American women. 13. 5 % of Black-American women were morbidly obese as opposed to 5. 5% and 5. % in White and Mexican-American women (Wang, Beydoun, 2007). Why it is that Black women are most vulnerable to not only obesity, but to morbid obesity? Could socioeconomics place a factor in these figures? A study was done in 2007 that looked at race, socioeconomic status and food quality availability. It was found that in low income urban areas, there was significantly less access to not only major food chains but foods of quality such as fresh fruits and vegetables while having a significantly higher access to convenience store than the rest of the population. Powella, et al. , 2007). Since majority of low income urban areas are made up of black residents then why aren’t Black men’s morbid obesity rates just as high? Both Black men and Black women of the same socioeconomic status have the same access to the same food distribution centers. Both also share the same body compositions as naturally having a greater lean mass to fat mass ratio (Flegal, Carroll, C. L. Ogden, Curtin, 2010). Could there be another factor playing a role in Black women’s prevalence to morbid obesity? Body Image

A study was conducted at Tennessee State University where 218 Black- American females were asked to rate their body image confidence. The findings of this study suggested that the obese and morbidly obese women rated themselves as having a high level of body image confidence and life satisfaction as opposed to that of the women who were normal or overweight (Lorenzen, L. , 2010). Another study was conducted in 2007 looking at the preferred body images between 80 White- American and 80 Black-American participants. All participants were asked to look at female models and silhouettes of women.

The models BMI’s ranged from low to obese. From there the participants were asked to rate each model and silhouette. The study found that there was a significant difference in ratings between Black- American and White-American participants in that model silhouettes with a higher BMI received higher attractiveness ratings amongst the Black-American participants than compared to White-American participants (Davis 2008). Although these studies yielded relatively small samples the results are conclusive in that Black-Americans view a female with a larger BMI as having a more attractive body image.

This obesity epidemic in Black-American women is fairly new. If we go back only a few decades ago, the obesity rates of Black- American women has doubled between 1988 and 2004. In addition, various longitudinal studies have shown that there are higher rates of weight gain in black women than in white women. Also during the first BMI examinations in the 1970s, white and black girls had similar levels of BMI but the annual increase in BMI were 30-40% larger among the black girls throughout both childhood and adulthood (Freedman et al, 2005).

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The Problem of Obesity in Our Schools

The Problem of Obesity in Our Schools Abstract Childhood obesity is a serious social problem that we face. We are responsible for teaching our children acceptable behaviors to interact with the world as well as to direct their own lives. When we do not teach our children the appropriate skills, they are unable to make healthy, safe choices for themselves. The key to combating this social issues lies in teaching our children at an early age the importance of good eating habits, then following that message up with our actions by showing them what good habits are and practicing them.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States in the past 20 years. “In 2008, only one state (Colorado) had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Thirty-two states had a prevalence equal to or greater than 25%; six of these states (Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia ) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%. ” 1 This alarming trend only proves to emphasize that American are not addressing the issues needed to combat this problem.

Nutrition habits are learned and practiced when we are young. Think back to when you were a kid. There were certain foods that were always around the house for you to snack on. Were these foods fresh vegetables and fruits, or were they cookies and potato chips? Did your family have a lot of pizza and TV dinners or did they have meals that your mother prepared from scratch? At least 25% of American teens are overweight or obese. 2 25%! That is an incredible number of kids.

Overweight and obesity are also common in groups with low incomes. Women with low incomes are about 50 percent more likely to be obese than women with higher incomes. Among children and teens, overweight in non-Hispanic White teens is related to a lower family income. Low-income families also buy more high-calorie, high-fat foods, which may add to the problem. This is because they tend to cost less than more healthful foods such as fruits and vegetables. Instead of eating lean ground beef, they eat the 25% lean because it cost less. Biscuits and gravy are relatively cheap to make if you use the drippings from the hamburger for the basis of the gravy and use lard in the biscuits because it, too, is cheaper than margarine or butter. Physical activity is not as common these days as it was before. For example, almost every summer night as kids we would go outside after supper and play games with the neighborhood kids. We played and ran until our mothers called us in for bed.

Now, however, families have to worry about their children’s safety so they don’t let them go outside alone or the children would prefer to stay in the house and play computer or video games. It is not surprising, then that children and teens are overweight and obese. Perhaps it is the times that we live in that has the greatest influence on us and our children. We need to take the time to recognize this difference from when we were kids and make a concerted effort to help our children learn good eating and exercise habits.

References 1. Who Is At Risk for Overweight and Obesity? ; US Department of Health and Human Resources; retrieved from http://www. nhlbi. nih. gov/health/dci/Diseases/obe/obe_whoisatrisk. html[->0] ; August 3, 2009 2. Let Them Eat Fat: The Heavy Truths About American Obesity; Critser, G. : Crossroads, Readings in Social Problems; Tiemann, K. (Ed); Pearson Custom Publishing, 501 Boylston St. , Suite 90, Boston, MA 02116 [->0] – http://www. nhlbi. nih. gov/health/dci/Diseases/obe/obe_whoisatrisk. html

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Exercise and Healthy Diet for Obesity

Exercise and Healthy Diet for Obesity Obesity is a medical condition that requires long term treatment and intervention in which a regular exercise and healthy diet are probably the most believable two important treatments that could help altering the clinical course of obesity. First of all, exercising on a regular basis is believed to be one of the two most essential factors helping you to get a better health condition. This is because exercising is a process of using the amount of energy from the fat stored in your body.

There are many types of exercise in which different modes of exercise produce different physiological responses. However, in my opinion, I think that the most effective type of exercise would be aerobic exercise such as jogging, running, cycling, and swimming. Aerobic exercise most requires you to extensively work out on your large muscles group which particularly includes your leg and core muscles. Moreover, this mode of exercise should take between 30 to 60 minutes and 3 to 5 days per week.

As you are exercising, your maximum heart rate intensity should be between 55 to 65 percent of your maximum heart rate, recommended for weight loss. Nonetheless, all beginners should initially start their exercise with a low intensity as the beginners are easily at high risk of joints injury, if you do not begin at the low intensity. In addition to aerobic exercise, there is also another effective mode of exercise which is known as anaerobic exercise whereby weight training is the most common activity for anaerobic exercise.

Weight training activity allows your particular muscles to work more and therefore gains more muscle mass. As your muscle mass increases, the rate of metabolism in your body increases as well. Therefore, it is better for you to work on both types of exercise including aerobic and anaerobic exercises as these two modes of exercise would give you a better result in losing your weight. Next, another powerful factor for weight loss besides a regular exercise is ‘a healthy diet’ in which this would effectively help you to lose weight as well.

Healthy diet means low calories, low fat, high protein, and carbohydrate restriction in your daily food consumptions. Moreover, this simply means that to eat healthy is to pick fruits or vegetables for the week, plan a meatless day, prefer beans for protein, reduce fat from meats, eat more home cooking and snack with fruits. The power of healthy diet can help you to decrease your body fat more constantly and that would help you to better achieve weight loss.

Hence, it is very important that you should refrain from eating sweets and fried food if it is not necessary and instead focusing more on the food with high protein and fibre. However, ‘fasting’ is strictly prohibited for healthy diet as each particular meal should include an adequate five food categories; which are carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamin, and fibre. Fasting or dieting could cause you to be starved and that would lead you to malnutrition, which is harmful to your health as your rate of metabolic and muscle mass would reduce rapidly.

Metabolic rate of the body is reduced due to fasting or dieting is when your digestive system of your body does not work as well as it does and if when you return to your normal eating, there is a high of possibility for you to get Yo-Yo Effect that might cause you to even gain more weight in a short time. Last but not least, either regular exercise or healthy diet could essentially help you to alter the clinical course of obesity.

As regular exercise would decrease your heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, body fat and also improve your muscle functions, which these can help the obesity to alter their clinical course. Hence, healthy diet also helps you to decrease your unwanted body fat and increase your rate of metabolism as well. Therefore, it is recommended for the obesity that you should both work on your regular exercise and eat healthy food as if you do them together, the more faster the more healthy of your body will become.

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The Future of Biopsychology-Obesity

NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY ASSIGNMENT COVER SHEET Learner: Consuela Kelly-Crisler THIS FORM MUST BE COMPLETELY FILLED IN Please Follow These Procedures: If requested by your mentor, use an assignment cover sheet as the first page of the word processor file. Use “headers” to indicate your course code, assignment number, and your name on each page of the assignment/homework including this assignment cover sheet. . Keep a Photocopy or Electronic Copy Of Your Assignments: You may need to re-submit assignments if your mentor has indicated that you may or must do so.

Academic Integrity: All work submitted in each course must be the Learner’s own. This includes all assignments, exams, term papers, and other projects required by the faculty mentor. The knowing submission of another persons work represented as that of the Learner’s without properly citing the source of the work will be considered plagiarism and will result in an unsatisfactory grade for the work submitted or for the entire course, and may result in academic dismissal. PSY5106Dr. Nicol Moreland BiopsychologyAssignment 8 Faculty Use Only The Future of Biopsychology- Obesity Consuela Kelly-Crisler

Northcentral University Biopsychology PSY5106 Dr. Nicol Moreland December 9, 2012 A person is considered obese when his or her weight is 20% or more above normal weight. The most common measure of obesity is the body mass index or BMI. A person is considered overweight if his or her BMI is between 25 and 29. 9; a person is considered obese if his or her BMI is over 30. “Morbid obesity” means that a person is either 50%-100% over normal weight, more than 100 pounds over normal weight, has a BMI of 40 or higher, or is sufficiently overweight to severely interfere with health or normal function (What is Obesity? 2012).

Obesity occurs when a person consumes more calories than he or she burns. For many people this boils down to eating too much and exercising too little. But there are other factors that also play a role in obesity. People tend to gain weight as they get older, even if they don’t alter their eating habits. This is because the human metabolism slows down as we age. We don’t need to take in as many calories as we used to in order to maintain the same weight. Therefore, we store more of the food we take in as fat. Women tend to be overweight more often than men because men tend to burn calories at a higher rate (What is Obesity? 012). Obesity and thinness seems to have a have a nature versus nurture component. If a patient’s biological mother is heavy as an adult, there is approximately a 75% chance that she will be heavy. Likewise, the children of thin parents have a 75% chance of being thin (What is Obesity? 2012). This doesn’t mean that the child of obese parents has to be obese, though. Many find ways to keep the weight off. Genetics are important, but lifestyle choices such as eating and exercise habits are, too. Less active people tend to require less calories than more active people; they don’t need as much fuel because they’re doing less work.

Physical activity also causes the body to burn calories faster on average, and decreases appetite. People exercising less is thought to be a leading cause of obesity over the last 20 years. Psychological factors also influence eating habits and obesity. Many people eat in response to negative emotions such as boredom, sadness, or anger. People who have difficulty with weight management may be facing more emotional and psychological issues; about 30% of people who seek treatment for serious weight problems have difficulties with binge eating.

During a binge-eating episode, people eat large amounts of food while feeling they can’t control how much they are eating. (Obesity Facts, 2012) Obesity can be caused by illness, though people blame more cases of obesity on illness than is actually true. Illnesses sometimes responsible for obesity include hypothyroidism (poorly acting thyroid slows metabolism), depression, and some rare diseases of the brain that can lead to overeating. Social factors, including poverty and a lower level of education, have been linked to obesity.

One reason for this may be that high-calorie processed foods cost less and are easier to find and prepare than healthier foods, such as fresh vegetables and fruits. However, the link between low socioeconomic status and obesity has not been conclusively established, and recent obesity research shows that childhood obesity, for instance, is also increasing among high-income groups. The best methods of obesity treatment are dieting and physical exercise. Obese people should adjust their diet to reduce fat and sugar consumption, and increase dietary fiber.

Anti-obesity drugs can also be effective in conjunction with a healthy diet, reducing one’s appetite and/or fat absorption. Some obese people require stomach or bowel reduction surgery in order to lose weight. The smaller stomach allows them to consume less food and still feel full. Obesity is a leading worldwide cause of preventable death, and authorities view it as one of the most serious health problems of this century. While in some cultures, obesity is a sign of prosperity and childbearing, in the Western world, it is frequently viewed negatively.

While whether to consider obesity as its own separate disease is a matter of some debate, it is certainly a factor in many physical and mental ailments. Obesity is associated with angina, myocardial infarction and between 21 and 34% of ischemic heart disease, depending on which research you read. Body-mass index levels associated with obesity also double a person’s risk of heart failure and deep-vein thrombosis and cause over 85% of cases of hypertension (five times the normal risk). Obesity is also associated with higher levels of LDL cholesterol and lower levels of HDL.

Obesity also has a variety of dermatological affects, including stretch marks, acanthosis nigricans, lymphedema, cellulitis, hirsutis and intertrigo (Bray, 2004). Obesity has also been shown to be linked with type 2 diabetes in 64% of cases in men and 77% of women’s. Sixty percent of patients diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome are obese, as are six percent of the infertile. Obesity is related to many complications in pregancy, including hemorrhage, infection, increased hospital stays for the mother and increased NICU requirements for the infant.

Obese women are twice as likely to require a Cesarean section and are at a high risk of preterm births and low birth weight infants. Children born of obese women have a greater risk of anencephaly and spina bifida, cardiovascular anomalies, including septal anomalies, cleft lip and palate, anorectal malformation, limb reduction anomalies, and hydrocephaly (Haslam, 2005). Obese women have a nearly double risk of stroke compared to normal-weight women, while men have twice as great a chance. Those who are obese have a rate of dementia 1. times greater than those of normal weight. Women obese at the age of eighteen have a greater than double chance of contracting multiple sclerosis. Obesity has also been shown to cause approximately five percent of cancers, including breast, ovarian, esophageal, colorectal, liver, pancreatic, gallbladder, stomach, endometrial, cervical, prostate, kidney, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma (Bray, 2004). In addition to these physical effects, obese people are less likely to get married and make thousands less than their normal-weight counterparts, on average.

Depression is also linked to obesity, though an increase in BMI has been linked to a decrease in the risk of suicide. Several studies suggest that many physicians treat obese patients differently. In a 1969 survey of physicians, obese patients were described as “weak-willed,” “ugly,” “awkward,” and “self-indulgent. ” In a more recent physician survey, one of three doctors said they respond negatively to obesity, behind three other diagnostic/social categories: drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness. A comparable study found that two-thirds of doctors believe obese patients lack self-control, and 39 percent feel they are lazy.

Two studies of nurses showed similar results. These attitudes carry over into the work world, where a job or a promotion is often denied simply because of how much one weighs. Obesity research and treatment is a very provocative subject. A 2011 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association proposes that states consider removing obese children above the 99th percentile from their homes. The author views temporary foster care as part of the remedy for childhood obesity by providing an environment where the children would be exposed to proper nutrition and activity levels.

During the separation period, the parents could also be educated on the best ways to assist their child in coping with their issue. Due to the relationship between obesity and low income (low income families can’t easily afford nutritious food, and low earners are often distracted from their family issues, whether by a second job, or by concerns like drug or alcohol abuse) and education (low income families usually aren’t as educated, which bleeds over into health issues like obesity) this solution seems severe but grounded in science.

Detractors point out that the home environment is only one contributing factor to obesity, and that a child’s obesity isn’t automatically considered abuse under the law. They cite studies showing that children get more of their food away from home, limiting the influence of even educated and involved parents. Also, neither the potential effectiveness of the proposal in terms of reducing obesity or the potential harm to the family unit caused by the removal have been substantiated. Psychological damage could in fact be inflicted, both to the parents and child, by causing them to feel at fault for the obesity.

This could lead to self-esteem issues, depression and more. This is without even taking into consideration the harm done by taking a child away from his or her parents, even on a temporary basis. Another treatment, as novel as the last if not as heavy-handed, is the potential for virtual-reality treatment of obesity. Virtual reality, also being used to treat psychological disorders like anxiety and addiction, allows clinicians to offer exposure therapy in the comforts of their own offices without the problems sometimes posed by actual exposure.

The benefit to the patient comes from being in a safe environment where they can let themselves connect emotionally with the treatment. Virtual reality has already been shown to induce a variety of controlled changes in the body, to include the sensation of a fake limb or an out of body experience. Researchers have even used virtual reality to give male subjects the feeling of being in a female body. From this point, it’s only a small leap to giving an obese person the sensation of being in a a normal-weight body.

In one experiment, scientists discovered the neural systems involved in VR improvement of body image. This, combined with an adaptation of therapy used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, is being used the help patients identify and change habits contributing to eating disorders and obesity. The first twenty minutes of the VR sessions are used for the therapist to get an understanding of the patient’s concerns and experiences related to food. The patient does most of the talking, while the therapist guides the session. The second twenty minutes are devoted to the actual VR session.

The simulation can create a number of environments, like a classroom, apartment, or pub, to recreate some of the experiences the patient detailed to the therapist. The simulation also includes a body-image room, where the patient can create an ideal VR body and compare it to their real one. The last twenty minutes are used to discuss the patient’s VR experience. In terms of ethical considerations, the first needs to be how much the government, communities and families are obligated to ensuring obese people get the treatment they need.

It is very easy to dismiss obese people as having “done it to themselves,” since many cases could simply be prevented by eating better and exercising more. Mental illnesses are, by and large, viewed differently by much of the public than physical ailments. A person who doubled in size due to a war injury that prevented them from exercising, for instance, would likely garner more sympathy than a person who simply doubled in size because they went to McDonald’s four times a week. This, of course, influences the discussion on how much the government should be obligated to pay for medical care of the obese.

Much like the arguments against smokers being covered by public assistance against the effects of their bad habit, a case can be made for whether tax dollars should pay for an obese person’s weight-reduction surgery or triple bypass. While the legitimacy of these concerns can probably never be agreed upon yet by the majority, the government’s responsibility to educate people on preventative measures and healthy choices cannot be minimized, and the effects of those programs should not be overlooked.

Some scientists acknowledge the responsibility of the obese for their conditions, but believe that it should only be a treatment focus if it did not harm the patient’s mental health. Those scientists also take issue with the public opinion stigma against obese people, due to the additional burden it places on patients. In the Western world especially, obese people are often considered lazy, overeaters or both. It is not ethical to assume this is true in all cases, those researchers say, and not ethical to create policy or legislation based on those assumptions, either.

Those assumptions can only be used positively in the shaping of preventative suggestions (anyone will benefit from more exercise and better eating, obese or not, so it’s acceptable to suggest them to everyone). Another consideration is what obese patients themselves consider acceptable in terms of treatment. Studies sow that obese adults prefer interventions that are non-commercial, don’t fall back on common stereotypes and promote lifestyle changes (health initiatives and exercise) rather than simple weight loss (dieting, bariatric surgery).

Care should be taken to ensure that treatment of obese patients does not impact their mental health negatively, by reinforcing social stigmas, negative self-image, instilling disregard for the positive social and cultural aspects of eating, disregarding the patient’s privacy and personal freedom in decision-making. One model, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics stewardship model of public health, recommends public programs that do not attempt to coerce adults to lead healthy lives, minimize introduction of interventions with-out consent; and minimize interventions that are unduly intrusive and in con? ct with personal values. The stewardship model also incorporates an intervention ladder, ranging from ‘no intervention’ to ‘eliminating choice’ altogether. Eliminating choice, under this model, would be reserved for serious public health issues, such as an infectious patient requiring quarantine in order to ensure the safety of the general population—something obviously more serious than an obese patient. Restricting choice would take the form of removing unhealthy ingredients or foods from stores and restaurants (as in the recent limit on the size of fountain drinks in New York City).

Guiding through disincentives or incentives is on another level of the spectrum, by making it not worth a person’s effort to do something, or vice versa—higher medical insurance premiums for obese people who are doing it to themselves, for example. It is a model that clearly illustrates ways in which the government can support public health without becoming overbearing and infringing on people’s rights. In summary, obesity is a major public health issue with far reaching consequences to a fair majority of the population. It is detrimental to those who suffer from it, both mentally and physically.

Its physical effects are literally a head-to-toe list of increases risks of illness and injuries. Its mental effects include damage to patients’ self-image, which can bleed over into how the patient deals with work, social situations, parenting and every other aspect of life. There are numerous factors involved in an obese person’s condition; genetics, upbringing, cultural values and mores, living environment and socio-economics. Some people become obese due to pre-existing medical concerns, while others achieve the condition by eating the wrong things and not exercising enough.

Once they do reach an obesity-qualifying body-mass index level, they can expect (in the Western world, at least), they can be expected to be held responsible for their condition no matter how it was reached, and to be treated differently simply because they’re not at a normal weight. Treatments for obesity range from the tried-and-true to the newfangled and from therapeutic to overbearing, with varying degrees of efficacy. Some involve the government, while others simply a life coach, dietician or trainer. Opinions on how to handle obesity fall at varying points on a wide spectrum.

The most logical source of information on how obese people should be treated—obese people themselves—tend to prefer an approach that helps them change their lives as a whole in order to lose weight and prevent harmful behaviors, rather than one that consists merely of a change in diet with no measures against become obese again at a later date. The ethical concerns in treating obesity include how to best treat obesity without making the patient feel worse about their problem and how much responsibility should be borne by someone other than the obese person themselves (i. . , the government). Future treatments for obesity may very well take a more holistic approach rather than simply tackling the separate components of diet and exercise. Scientists have taken steps toward mapping the areas of the brain involved with impulse control and self-image, and developing ways of modifying behaviors using this information may prove useful in stemming the tide. Similar discoveries may fuel new ways of educating people on how to prevent obesity in the future as well, rather than only ways of reversing it after the fact.

And of course, the more understanding we have of obesity and its causes, the more tolerant and accepting we should become as a whole towards people suffering from it. References What is Obesity? (2012) Retrieved December 7, 2012, from http://www. webmd. com/diet/what-is-obesity Bray GA (2004). Medical consequences of obesity. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. Haslam DW, James WP (2005). Obesity. Lancet Childhood Obesity Prevention. (2012). In Root Cause. Retrieved October 14, 2012, from http://rootcause. org/childhood-obesity-prevention

Obesity Facts, Causes, Emotional Aspects and When to Seek Help. (2012). In WebMD. Retrieved October 14, 2012, from http://www. webmd. com/diet/what-is-obesity? page=2 Pinel, J. P. J. (2009). Biopsychology (7th ed. ). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon Hahler B (June 2006). An overview of dermatological conditions commonly associated with the obese patient. Arendas K, Qiu Q, Gruslin A (June 2008). “Obesity in pregnancy: pre-conceptional to postpartum consequences”. Calle EE, Rodriguez C, Walker-Thurmond K, Thun MJ (April 2003). Overweight, obesity, and mortality from cancer in a prospectively studied cohort of U. S. adults”. Relationship Between Poverty and Overweight or Obesity. Retrieved December 7, 2012, from http://frac. org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/are-low-income-people-at-greater-risk-for-overweight-or-obesity/ Meetoo D. The imperative of human obesity: an ethical reflection. Br J Nurs 2010; 19: 563–8. Nuffield Council on Bioethics. Public health: ethical issues. London: Nuffield Council on Bioethics; 2007. Available at: http://www. nuffieldbioethics. org/public-health (Cited 9 December 2011).

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Obesity In the United States

In the United States today, obesity has become an enormous problem. In the last 3decades, the number of people overweight has increased dramatically. A study done by theCenters of Disease Control showed that since 1980, one third of our adult population has becomeoverweight. America is the richest but also the fattest nation in the world, and our obese backsides are the butt of jokes in every other country (Klein 28). The 1980s were a time whenAmericans suddenly started going crazy over dieting, jumping onto the treadmills, and buying prepackaged non-fat foods.

However, while all of that was going on, the number of obeseAmericans began to increase. According to a report in the Journal of the American MedicalAssociation, 58 million people in our country weigh over 20 percent of their body’s ideal weight. The article “Fat Times” states, “If this were about tuberculosis, it would be called an epidemic”(Elmer-Dewit 58). The eating habits of society have steadily become more harmful and havestarted to produce gluttonous children, over-indulgent adults, and a food industry set too muchon satisfying our appetites.

Obesity can begin at a very young age. Many children in our society are overweight,setting themselves up for serious health problems later in life. Type 2 diabetes, high bloodcholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart problems are just some of the risks. Children who areoverweight also tend to feel less secure, less happy, and be stressed more than normal weight children do. They get teased, criticized, and judged. In many cases, the problem is not the child’sfault.

Being overweight may run in that child’s family, or their parents do not encourage them to be active and get enough exercise. Many children spend too much time indoors wasting away infront of the TV, playing video games, or spending time on the computer, and consuming high fatsnacks, soft drinks and candy at the same time (Weight Management). The CDC performed astudy in 1994 that was described in the book Fat Land; it showed that children who watched over four hours of television a day had higher body mass index (body fatness) numbers than thosewho watched less than one hour a day.

In 1994, The Centers for Disease Control studied the TVviewing time, exercise patterns, and weight gain of 4063 children aged eight to fifteen. Theresults found that the less a child exercised and the more they watched TV, the more likely theywere to be obese or overweight. When they surveyed the parents, they discovered that theconcern about crime was a reason that the parents didn’t want their children outside being active. That is why they were not concerned about the harmful effect of sitting in front of the TV allday; they were just glad that their children were safe.

Surveys, studies, and reports that came outin the 1990s began to show shocking results of how “socially disfranchised” children were becoming from being obese (Critser 73-74). Schools aren’t helping the children either;How can the school nutritionist compete against BigFoot pizzas and Super-Size fries? The $50,000 the U. S. government allots each state annually to teach kids to eat right islost next to the billions spent designing food and packaging that will ring the kids’Pavlovian bells… the percentage of teens who are overweight, which held steady at about15% through the 1970s, rose to 21% by 1991. The kids eat nothing but junk food’ saysLiam Hennessey, a special-ed teacher from San Francisco who watches students on school trips open the lunches their parents pack for them, gobble up the Oreos and Pop-Tarts and toss out the sandwiches” (Elmer-Dewitt). A Harvard Health Report, “Weight Less, Live Longer,” discusses how many people donot realize that their appetite and diet can be closely related to many psychological factors. Any person who has ever binged on chips or cookies when they feel upset can understand this.

Several studies have shown that people tend to eat more when they feel anxious, depressed, or have symptoms of other emotional disorders. Certain foods have been known to have a calmingeffect, although unfortunately it is usually the fattening foods that do. When a depressed personeats to feel better, they gain weight, and being overweight can in turn cause depression and theemotional problems that signal overeating. A vicious cycle begins. Being overweight can causemore emotional problems than just overeating, however.

Sadly, obese people are very oftensocially shunned, judged, criticized, and made fun of. They have more trouble finding jobs,friends, and mates. Being discriminated against just adds to the emotional strain that overweight people have to deal with. Their depression from being obese can cause feelings of hopelessness,making it seem impossible for them to try to lose weight and change the way they look (WhyPeople Become Overweight). The book Food as a Drug describes some studies that have beendone to try and see if obesity could be considered the same as a drug dependency disorder.

Foodcan sometimes be a powerful psychoactive substance, and “one way to view eating disorders isto appreciate that food is a complex mixture and that the body responds to food as it does tochemicals, such as those found in alcohol and other psychoactive drugs. Eating disorders aretherefore chemical disorders” (Food as a Drug). The food we eat in America is another factor contributing to the nation’s obese population. The desire for junk food has rapidly replaced the desire for fruits and vegetables and other healthy edibles. Who can blame people for buying it? It’s easy, quick, cheap, and fun.

What people can be blamed for is the amount they eat. Junk food defined is food packed withchemicals, sugar, and sodium, such as french fries, hamburgers, and sweets. Junk food is not justlimited to snacks; fast food was put on the list when the calories, fat, sodium, and chemicalcontent surpassed the nutritional value. “Although many health authorities insist that there is nosuch thing as junk food, consumers find it a useful term for distinguishing nourishing food from products whose chief appeal is fun, convenience, and addictive taste; ‘bet you can’t eat just one’”(Junk Food). Americans are spending about $4. billion a year on potato chips, and 23. 5 billiona year on candy and gum. 46 Percent of adult Americans eat out on a typical day, and one thirdof them choose fast food. That is because the fast food industry has slowly become one of thesymbols of American culture and is spreading to other cultures as well: McDonalds has 26,000locations in 119 countries, Pizza Hut has more than 10,000 in 86 countries, and Subway has14,500 in 75 countries. Commercials, signs, and huge advertisements are pushing junk food at usevery day; people can not even go to the grocery store without candy bars being lined up right bythe checkout.

The junk food industry realizes how appealing it can be. When a person is in arush, they can easily eat a large meal without having to make a lot of decisions, work, dress up,or get out of their car. The speed and convenience fit Americans’ pressured lifestyles. It does notfit, however, to our health and wellness. A fast food meal, such as a Burger King DoubleWhopper with cheese, contains 965 calories, more than double the amount of fat, and as much as750 grams too much sodium for the day. The food is providing all the wrong ingredients; it hastoo much protein and fat and no fiber or vitamins. It is o wonder our nation is so overweightwhen the food they make habit of eating can be so dangerous. It is very unfortunate that Americans get to the point where fat caters to their hurried lifestyles. Junk food may not bealtogether toxic, but when it is eaten on a habitual basis it can be deadly (“Junk Food”). Excessive weight on the body can pose some extremely serious health risks. Just some of those risks are type 2 diabetes, infertility, hypertension, heart attacks, colon cancer, prostatecancer, hyperlipidemia, and breast cancer. The general mechanism for gaining weight is obviousand simple.

When people consume more calories than the body can burn, the body stores thosecalories as fat tissue. However, some genetic factors can play a part, such as how the bodyregulates the metabolic rate and appetite. Some people use their genetics as an excuse, butactually those that have the predisposition to gaining weight do not have to be fat (Carson-Dewitt). “People with only a moderate genetic predisposition to be overweight have a goodchance of losing weight on their own by eating fewer calories and getting more vigorous exercisemore often.

These people are more likely to be able to maintain this lower weight” (Why PeopleBecome Overweight). It is mainly the amount of fat that people make a habit of eating and their lifestyle that plays the biggest role in their overall health. Some symptoms of obesity are excessfatty tissue and excessive weight gain, causing arthritis, lower back pain and other orthopedic problems, hernias, heartburn, adult-onset asthma, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure,gum disease, gallstones, skin disorders, shortness of breath that can be incapacitating, sleepapnea, and emotional and social problems.

Studies have shown that individuals who are “apple-shaped” tend to have higher risks of risk heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes than peoplewhose weight sits in their hips and thighs and are “pear-shaped” (Carson-Dewitt). The book Eating Disorders and Obesity points out also that where fat is deposited in the body makes adifference in disease risk. The intra-abdominal fat is very dangerous. In this area, fat cells produce harmful chemicals that go to the liver. Lipacidemia (the presence of fatty acid in the blood) obstructs oxygen and glucose from being transported to the muscles, thus increasing the body’s resistance to insulin.

The book also shows statistics that adult onset diabetes is mostsensitive to weight gain. “A gradient in risk of more than 50-fold is seen from the leanest to theheaviest men and women, and even modest gains in weight from age 18 to midlife are associatedwith an increase in risk several times greater than that of a person who maintained a stableweight” (Eating Disorders and Obesity). Increased BMI (body mass index) of 23 to 25 hadincreased abnormalities in blood pressure, glucose tolerance, and serum lipids.

People who areoverweight may try to present the benefit of less hip fractures and broken bones than people whoare lean (because of more padding), but heart disease and diabetes are far more important anddangerous health risks. There are no benefits to being overweight (Eating Disorders andObesity). Preventing obesity at an early age is very beneficial to people’s health and self-esteem. Parents can prevent their children from becoming obese later in life more than they know. Theyneed to be role models for their children, and set examples of a good lifestyle.

Regulating howmuch the child eats is important, especially what they’re eating. Sugar should be cut down, aswell as high-calorie snacks. Limiting time in front of the TV and computer could increase physical activity as well (Weight Management). The article “Obesity” explains that obese adultswhose parents never taught them good eating and health habits have to take care of themselvesand change their lifestyles. Treating obesity is not just about quick weight loss, it is about settingup a lifelong pattern of good choices. Yo-Yo” dieting is very dangerous and can increase a person’s risk for fatal diseases. Behavior-focused treatment should concentrate on learning andunderstanding the fat content and overall nutritional value of most foods. Overweight individualsmay need to keep a food diary to record their calories and food choices, and change habits in grocery shopping, times of meals, and actual rate of eating. Some psychological factors, such ashow a person views food, could play a part. Some people overeat when they are under extremestress, for example, and see food as a comfort.

Others may eat to reward themselves for success. Many views of food are contributing to why people gain weight so quickly, and if people canidentify the psychological reasons behind why they eat so much, they could prevent a lot of problems. The article continues by describing how physical activity is another life habit that isvital to make. The amount of time someone spends exercising and being active can contributemuch to his or her overall health. As many as 85% of dieters who do not exercise on a regular basis regain their lost weight within two ears. In five years, the figure rises to 90%. Exerciseincreases the metabolic rate by creating muscle, which burns more calories than fat. Whenregular exercise is combined with regular, healthful meals, calories continue to burn at anaccelerated rate for several hours. When individuals work hard and build endurance, it helpsthem not feel discouraged. New activities and varied routines can help them not lose interest instaying active. Individuals trying to make these life changes would be wise to be encouraged andsupervised by a medical professional.

Weight loss programs, such as “Weight Watchers” cansometimes be effective, as they emphasize realistic goals, sensible eating, gradual progress andexercise. However, some can be dangerous because they promise extreme weight loss and may put people on dangerous diet plans or pills. Most doctors would not approve of those, but wouldrecommend a low calorie diet (about 1200 to 1500 calories a day), or a liquid protein diet for upto three months. Along with the supervision of dieting and exercise, the doctor would probablyrecommend a psychiatrist to help the patient deal with their views on food.

Sometimes appetite-suppressant pills are administered, which increase levels of serotonin or catecholamine,chemicals that control feelings of fullness. Food plays a huge part though; “getting the correct ratios of protein, carbohydrates, and good-quality fats can help in weight loss via enhancement of the metabolism. Support groups that are informed about healthy, nutritious, and balanced dietscan offer an individual the support he or she needs to maintain this type of eating regimen”(Obesity).

Obesity experts have made the point that monitoring fat consumption is moreimportant than just counting calories. Just 30 percent of calories eaten per day should come fromfat, and only one third of those calories should come from saturated fat (Obesity). Many Americans are trying to fight the battle against obesity. Many aren’t winning. Howcan they when packaging on junk food is distracting children from the salad bar, or when adultssee commercials for huge meals every 10 minutes on television? Food is being pushed atAmericans constantly; there seems no way to get around the message of “you have to eat. There seems to be no way to achieve fitness goals because there are too many obstacles. Whether a person’s obstacles are their genetics and metabolism, their depression, or their habits andlifestyle, being overweight is one of the hardest things in life to deal with. The things that obese people have to deal with are very unfortunate. The health problems are harmful enough to well- being, but the cycle of depression and emotional problems that comes along with obesity in somany cases can be worse.

Obese people have to walk through life constantly being reminded of their damaging habits and things can seem so hopeless. It is so important to start healthy habitsearly in life. The benefits of good behavior and good life patterns can make life more fulfilling,worth living for and longer lasting. Americans used to embrace healthy eating habits but thecountry got so busy that good ideals were thrown away. The problem of obesity is not just aboutfood; it is about an entire lifestyle

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Savannah Elwell English 1010 Conner 7:30 First literature review When people talk about obesity and health in America, it is usually all the same kinds of things. People are aware that America has a problem with obesity, but is anyone really doing anything about it? There are different programs that try their hardest to get people active and eating healthy but that only does so much. When older folds talk about the subject, they bring up the conversation of “when I was a kid, we didn’t have any of the unhealthy fast-food restaurants like we do today. They see this generation today as lazy and unwilling to try to make an effort to eat healthy.

On the other hand, there are the kids that think the fast-food industry is the greatest thing ever invented. It’s the “easy way out,” to eating. Fast-food chains are overly available so in the time and need to eat, it is so easy to just run through the drive-thru and grab some food. The advertising of fast-food restaurants is so appealing these days that they are looked at as a good thing. They may try to provide a healthy menu, but is it really any better then the rest of the unhealthy menu?

Think about how the food is really made, how it got to the restaurant, and how the factories process the food. I’m sure a salad is no doubt healthier then a hamburger but is that salad fresh? Do the workers at McDonalds go out to the back garden and pick the lettuce and tomato? It comes from factories that manufacture the “healthy product. ” This topic on obesity and health is complicated in a number of ways. First is, is it really Americas problem to define the country as a whole as being obese and unhealthy?

The second being, it’s a lifestyle that America has adapted to, meaning we are so used to being around fast-food restaurants, that it’s a ‘normal’ thing to do. America is the land of the free. Why should it be anyone else’s business what others put into their bodies? It all goes back to the personal accountability aspect. What you decide to put into your body is up to you. It shouldn’t be America’s problem. America has gotten used to eating unhealthy because it’s so easy to do so. We have so many options in restaurants and in food choices.

If America really had a problem with the obesity in this country, why isn’t anyone desperately trying to end it? People can talk all they want but actually accomplishing that is a whole other story. Obesity and unhealthy lifestyles as a topic is an important issue. Our bodies replicate as a “factory,” you need to put healthy things into it to keep all the equipment from shutting down. Your body needs specific ingredients to maintain function. Some examples would be, water, fruits, vegetables, and meats. Water hydrates your body and keeps what needs to be flowing, flowing.

Fruits and vegetables run as an energy source for your body. They keep you running. Without the maintenance in the factory, it will shut down. Your body acts in the same way. There are many different people that think about the topic in many ways. There are arguments that are both pro and con. Some of the people that are going to be talked about throughout the essay are Zinczenco, Balko, Warner, Haygood, Obama, Pollan, Maxfield, Orbach, and Freeman. A brief description about each of these authors will first be addressed and then further along in the essay they will be covered in more detail.

Zinczenco talks about in his article, “Don’t Blame the Eater,” government and the statistics about the fast-food industry. Balko goes into detail about how people are becoming less responsible for their own health and more responsible for everyone else’s. Warner says in his article that people have gotten used to the bad eating habits. It’s the simple and easy way to satisfy their hunger. Those are just a few of the articles that are going to be discussed. Before 1994, diabetes in children was generally caused by a genetic disorder. Only about 5 percent of childhood cases were obesity related, or Type 2, diabetes.

Today, according to the National Institutes of Health, Type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 30 percent of all new childhood cases of diabetes in this country. Also money to treat the diabetes has gone up extremely high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that diabetes accounted for $2. 6 billion in health care costs in 1969. Today’s number is an unbelievable $100 billion a year. Zinczenko has a very valid point when he says, “advertisements don’t carry warning labels the way tobacco ads do. Prepared foods aren’t covered under Food and Drug Administration labeling laws.

The fast-food industry would be doing well in protecting themselves if they were to provide the nutritional information people need to make informed choices about their products. If you were to drive down any road in America, there is a really good chance you’d see more then one of the 13,000 McDonald’s restaurants, but trying to find somewhere that sells a healthy grapefruit is another story. The fast food industry will contain a calorie count of the food you will be eating but it will be the bare minimum. They will not add in the dressing for the salad or the almonds and noodles, those will come separately.

There will be a small print on the back of the container saying the dressing actually contains more than one serving. Adding it all together, you have yourself a over 1,000 calorie meal, which is half of the government’s recommended daily calorie intake. Radley Balko says in his article that congress is now considering menu-labeling legislation, which would force restaurants to send every menu item to the laboratory for nutritional testing. People are becoming less responsible for their own health and more responsible for everyone else’s.

Our government should be working to foster a sense of responsibility in and ownership of our own health and well-being. Balko says that President Bush earmarked $200 million in his huge budget for anti-obesity measures. School boards across the nation have begun to ban snack and sodas from school campuses and vending machines in order to bring the obesity level down. The best way to alleviate the obesity “public health” crisis is to remove obesity from the realm of public health. If policymakers really want to stop obesity they would stop the socialization of medicine and move to return individual Americans’ ownership of their own health.

The government should also give the option of rolling money that is reserved for health care into a retirement account. Like Zinczenko says in his article “Don’t Blame the Eater. ” “Kids taking on McDonald’s this week, suing the company for making them fat. Isn’t that like middle-aged men suing Porsche for making them get speeding tickets? ” It all comes back to personal responsibility. Your well-being, shape, and condition have increasingly been deemed matters of “public health” instead of matters of personal responsibility.

All of the Democratic candidates for president boasted plans to push health care further into the public sector. At a time when more than two thirds of American adults are indeed far and 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese, declaring war on unhealthful eating, as the Obama administration has done to an unprecedented extent, could be fraught with political liability. Trying to teach children and Americans, healthier eating habits seemed so commonsensical a venture, Michelle Obama chose it for her apolitical personal project.

She has succeeded in enlisting some bipartisan support, and some much hyped cooperation from the food industry. You can’t change specific eating behavior without addressing that way of life, without changing our culture of food. You need to present healthful eating as a new, desirable, freely chosen expression of the American way. David Kessler, the former U. S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner, says “in the space of a generation, cigarettes stopped being portrayed as “sexy and cool” and started to be seen as “a terribly disgusting, addictive product.

But because of the unique emotional power of food, it’s hard, if not impossible, to similarly stigmatize unhealthful eating. ” Americans will not adopt a new way of eating any time soon, because for years now, people have gotten used to eating the way they do. It’s the simple and easy way to satisfy their hunger. People have gotten lazy in the way they eat and look for the easy way out. Instead of taking the time to prepare something healthy and nutritional, people tend to sit in their cars, drive around a building in which they are buying food, and eat it on the way home.

What happened to setting the table in your home and preparing a home cooked meal in which everyone participates in and then enjoying it all together afterwards? It all comes down to laziness. Trying to change the way people see food and the way they eat is something that will not happen overnight. It will take time for people to realize that the things they eat at fast-food restaurants will hurt them in the long run, whether it’s a once a week thing, or a once a day problem, it is going to affect people’s health.

There are organizations that try so hard to teach everyone the risks and problems of unhealthy eating, but is anyone really listening? Do people see the advertisements and really take the time to sit down and study it more closely? In a magazine there might be a page that shows a picture of a person that has been eating fast food their entire life and now has many health problems, but is that going to be the page you stop on and suddenly change your way of eating? Or are you going to continue on some more and stop where you see a big juicy burger from McDonalds and go out and buy one?

It all comes down to laziness. In a town where everyone knows everyone it is difficult to keep yourself hidden. The town of Manchester, Kentucky has an overall population of 2,100 people. Everyone is very close with each other due to the bake sales, and volunteering. But it is what goes uncelebrated and even ignored that has become Manchester’s defining feature. In an increasingly unhealthy country, it is one of the unhealthiest places of all. The national obesity rate for adults is 24 percent; in Manchester and the surrounding counties, its been estimated as high as 51 percent.

The article explains the layout of the town in a way that just makes it seem miserable. “The town has a retro, lived-in look. The downtown movie theater is gone, through the marquee is still visible. There has clearly been economic suffering. There is a medium-security federal prison on the edge of town, out past the gas stations that sell fried chicken and pizza. The intersections leading into town features a McDonald’, a Wendy’s, and Arby’s and a subway. And just beyond that, there’s a Burger King, A Long John Silver’s, a Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken and a Pizza Hut. Hardly anyone in the town gets out and is actually active anymore.

A father of two girls, says that ever since he went through the breakup of his wife, his eldest daughter had gone into an emotional tailspin, that has lead her to overeat and seclude herself in her bedroom where she spends hours on her computer. The daughter had gone to the doctors and was told that she was 30 pounds overweight and is on the borderline of diabetic. Jill Day has been studying for her doctorate in kinesiology and health promotion. She grew up in Kentucky and decided to go back to do a study on the obesity rate.

Her subjects were fourth and fifth grade students. Her study would be the first of its kind that focuses on the underlying causes of obesity. The students fell into the categories of healthy, underweight, overweight, and obese. She says she had estimated in her head that one-third of the kids in Manchester would be overweight or obese. It happened to be half of them. Jill Day had spent two years on her study. Michelle Obama addresses the people and then proceeds to express her gratitude by thanking the members of NAACP. Michel Obama and her husband believe that this organization is one whose legacy is not to take advantage.

They believe it’s an obligation that shall be fulfilled with the upmost respect. We as mothers need to prepare are children for the future and the challenges that lie ahead. Michelle Obama believes that childhood obesity is a major epidemic in America today. Obesity can lead to harmful conditions such as heart disease, cancer, asthma, and diabetes. This isn’t about the way are children look but the health and how they feel. This is a major issue in which has effected many communities but more likely to effect African American children than white. We need to address this problem and reverse this trend.

We need to take this issue seriously by asking are selves how we got here in the first place. We live in a society today that is extremely different than what it was when Obama grew up. Michelle grew up in a time where kids walked to school and schools offered recess twice a day. A time where kids didn’t have video games and played outside for fun. Meals consisted of healthy food of reasonable sizes where there were hardly seconds. People these days don’t grow are own food as when are grandparents did. People will now take a trip to the local grocery store or run through a fast food franchise.

We can build exceptional schools but without proper nutrition to concentrate they are rendered useless. We can create positions for outstanding job opportunities but without the energy and enthusiasm to perform them they are as well useless. You can offer the best medical care they can buy but when continuing to live unhealthy life styles such as improper nutrition these facilities are as well useless. Michel Obama has made making improving children’s health one of her top priorities.

Obama has launched the “Let’s Move” campaign, which is a program to solve childhood besity so that children of today make it to adulthood at a proper weight. The “Lets Move” campaign has four components. The first provides information to parents allowing them to make healthier decisions for their families. Health care legislation requires the nutritional information to be posted on all fast food menus. The second component is to establish schools to provide healthy food. This will eliminate sugary foods and provides foods that are more nutrient rich. The third part is to make children more active by encouraging them to ride bikes and walk to school.

The fourth component is to ensure all families had easy access to health foods within their communities. If the option is available more people will take advantage of this healthy opportunity. Childhood obesity is a growing trend in America in which is very preventable. With the “Lets Move” campaign this is the perfect four components to establish a way to save many children from going down the wrong path. Changing the people’s nutritional diet is a difficult task but it can be done, simply by providing more healthy options in schools and in the community. Nutritionist consisting of fats, carbs and antioxidants is a powerful science.

Yet the explanation of diet makes this an imperfect science. This article is implementing ways to “escape from the western diet. ” There are as many truths to nutrition as there are myths. For there are many scientific theories on nutritionism, all on which dictate the way you eat. The western diet is characterized by the intake of processed foods and high fatty foods. Many individuals define the western diet as being unavoidable. The western diet is believed to be responsible as the major factor of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Many scientific phenomenons’ all appear to have very much the same solution “stop eating the western diet. ” Theories of nutrition and the curiosity of how things work is valued more by the food industry and the medical community. In order for the food industry to design new processed foods they must first come up with theories that allow them to develop a new line of products. The food industry will use scientific backing to further its production in processed foods. The medical community uses scientific theories about diet to boost their business.

They let the new theories allow them to develop new drugs to treat the western diet’s diseases. New treatments and procedures are a major profit beneficiary for their industry. Dennis Burkitt, an English doctor believes the only way to escape from the western diet is to rely on the lifestyles of our ancestors. Burkitt believes to go back to a more primitive way of nutrition where hunting and gathering food was a way to survive. a big majority of the way we get food today is looked at by driving next to a building and having food handed to us through a window.

In today’s society the most important factor about food is not the nutritional value but in the way it is processed. The western diet is inexpensive and easy, thus making it America’s number one diet. Throughout history, gathering and preparing food was a career in the survival of daily life. So how do we escape form the western diet? The answer is simple, stop eating the western diet. How is it that other countries can eat so unhealthily yet stay on average, healthier than Americans? Other countries perceive Americans as being unhealthy, yet the word healthy has a broad of definitions.

Who defines the nutritional science of healthy and unhealthy? The journalist Michael Pollan, believes that the food industry is the main confusion on how to eat. Pollan believes that the food industry contributes to the cultural society of food. Pollan implicates the elimination of processed foods will encourage a healthier nutritional lifestyle. Pollan is a food critic and a firm believer of the food science of health and nutrition. Pollan has published manuals for better eating in which the guidelines defer the prescriptions of food scientists.

Pollan’s food guidelines are more of eating algorithms that produce a number and variety of meals. Many nutritional geniuses back up their information through the concerns of American health. America is a nation that has many western diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Our culture we live in today correlates unhealthy eating to unhealthy weight. Pollan believes that over eating leads to the greatest threat to our survival. America’s government fights against the obesity epidemic, which threatens our national health. Cultural has a major influence on the health-based problems.

Despite academic knowledge, common sense can connect diet, health, and weight. Pollan believes that processed foods make us sick and fat, yet no evidence can support that claim. The question of today is, why have Americans become more obese? America has a $50-billion-per-year diet industry that develops weight loss drugs, and articles of the obesity crisis. Throughout the research, BMI, a tool that uses height and weight, was developed to predict heart disease and other maladies. To totally eliminate the American anxiety of nutrition, we need to rise above our animal nature and not complicate the practice of eating food.

There are a lot of pressures and barriers that take out of the context the word health. Our skewed views of fatness then facilitate our skewed views of food. Works Cited Radley, Balko. “What You Eat Is Your Business” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. 2nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print  Wil, Haygood. “Kentucky Town of Manchester Illustrates National Obesity Crisis” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print  Mary, Maxfield. “Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. 2nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012.

Print  Michelle, Obama. “Remarks to the NAACP National Convention” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. 2nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print  Michael, Pollan. Escape from the Western Diet” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. 2nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print Judith, Warner. “Junking Junk Food” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. 2nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print  David, Zinczenko. “Don’t Blame the Eater” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. 2nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print

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Are Fast Food Restaurants to Blame for Obesity?

“If ever there were a newspaper headline custom-made for Jay Leno’s monologue, this was it. Kids’ taking on McDonald’s this week, suing the company for making them fat. Isn’t that like middle-aged men suing Porsche for making them get speeding tickets? Whatever happened to personal responsibility? ” David makes an excellent point as he opens his article, but then contradicts himself by telling us that he believes McDonalds is to blame for obesity in America. It is my belief that his entire article can be invalidated in just two words: personal responsibility.

Each individual is responsible for the decisions that they make regarding their health or any aspect of their life for that matter. If we blame fast food restaurants for making us obese, where does the blame stop? It is even more critical for parents to recognize the need for personal responsibility, because they are not only responsible for their health, but they are responsible for teaching their children how to eat right and take care of themselves as they grow up. Some might argue that if fast food chains changed their portion size or labeled their products with nutritional information, that consumers would make better choices.

If society is allowed to blame obesity on a fast food restaurant, then it will start a downward spiral with no end in sight. Are casinos to blame for gambling addictions? Are tobacco companies to blame for cancer? With this mindset, one can do anything they want and never accept responsibility for any of it. Personal responsibility must be reinforced if we are going to accomplish anything. The only one to blame for the decision to eat a cheeseburger, gamble away your income, or light up a cigarette is the person that makes the decision.

We are seeing more and more frivolous lawsuits making their way through the courts and judges are awarding plaintiffs on even the most ridiculous suits. Yes, fast food restaurants are bad for our health, but so are cigarettes and alcohol. Gambling is bad for our finances. Infidelity is bad for our marriages. Do we blame the tobacco companies? Do we blame the alcohol companies? How about the casinos that lure us in and take our hard earned money, or the television and movie producers that glorify cheating?

Not only does this attitude have an incredibly negative affect on our health and well-being, but it takes a horrible toll on our children’s. They are learning that there is no accountability for their actions. We can already see this in the way some children behave in public. Parents are also responsible for ensuring their kids are getting a healthy diet and some form of daily exercise regimen. It is all too easy to simply say “I do not have time to cook my kids a healthy meal because I work too many hours to pay the bills. Maybe we should be asking ourselves, “Could I save enough money by cooking healthy meals instead of eating out at fast food restaurants, which would allow me to work fewer hours? ” I was very overweight as a child and yet my parents never allowed me to have fast food. They weren’t strict enough at the dinner table and they allowed me to have too many snacks. Because I was always required to clean my plate, I often ate past being full. This lack of judgment on my parent’s part had nothing to do with any fast food restaurant. It had to do with my parent’s methods for raising and disciplining me.

In all honesty, my parents were to blame for my childhood obesity. David seems to think that by forcing fast food restaurants to cut their portion sizes and label their meals with nutrition information, people will stop eating fast food. However, most grocery store junk food products are labeled and it does not stop people from purchasing them. Furthermore, reducing portion sizes would only cause consumers to spend more to satisfy their appetites. This does not solve the problem of obesity, and also adds to the continuing downfall of our economy and financial instability.

If I want a large fry and they only have small, I am more apt to buy two or three smalls to get the same amount of fries. While David’s article was only about the role fast food restaurants are playing in the obesity crisis, it is indicative of a much bigger problem. Americans are blaming everyone but themselves for their actions and it needs to stop. If we do not learn to take personal responsibility over our everyday decisions, and we do not begin to educate our children to do the same, then many other problems besides obesity lie in our future.